Category Archives: darts

Darts in the Olympics? – By Billie Marshall

With the Premier League of Darts back on our screens, and events being drop from Olympics, it has raised the debate whether the sport should be in or out.

The Sporting Week’s Billie Marshall has taken a look at this and the success of darts in its immediacy and the future:

The Olympics has always stood for a games fulfilled with passion, athleticism and the honour of representing your country on one of the biggest stages in the world. It is about mastering the art of a certain sport and maintaining a high level throughout competition to ultimately succeed.

Darts may not be seen as a particularly athletic sport, nor an endurance event and is not seen to grasp the stereotype of a modern day Olympian. However, you cannot deny, Darts is a skill in its own right.

They may not possess the same qualities as a 100m runner, or a marathon runner but the skill it requires to be the very best in darts is the same throughout all sports. It takes desire and commitment.

Darting fans would love to see a high jumper, for example, compete against 16 times World Champion Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor, and not recognise the high level of skill involved with the game.

With the introduction of Golf at the Olympics in Rio, 2016, why is Darts yet to be even considered? It would be a challenge to find an atmosphere quite like a darting event. The world famous ‘Ally Pally’ home of the Darts World Championships provides a setting like no other.

From the trials and tribulations of Michael Van Gerwen nearly hitting the first ever televised double nine-darter, to that classic match of 2007 between Raymond Van Barneveld and Phil Taylor.

It would be foolish to also forget to mention the Premier League of darts. Ten of the world’s best players, competing over a three month period, to decide who the champion is.

With this competition being held all over Britain, it proves how far Darts has come, and how it is now recognised as a successful national sport.

The Betfair World Cup of Darts is yet another example of the sports growing audiences and worldwide attractions. The tournament held in Hamburg, Germany, recently saw nations such as Finland, Japan and Croatia compete with the heavyweight darting countries such as England, the Netherlands and Scotland.

Audiences are growing, and Darts is on the up. At the World cup, 7,000 packed out the Alsterdorfer Sporthalle in Hamburg, for four days of darting competition. The most recognised darting event, the World Championships, recorded record high for attendances this year. Alexandra Palace or ‘Ally Pally’ to most, regularly occupied 6000 people in a three week competition over the Christmas period.

Comparing these attendances to the likes of Football and Rugby is like comparing a Rock to a Pebble, however the smaller enclosed venues create the atmosphere that Darts is so famous for. To the fancy dress competition and the regular sing-alongs, there is no doubt the sound of ‘there’s only one Phil Taylor’ or the Barney Army in full voice will send shivers down your spine.

A 16 time World Champion in Phil Taylor, a Dutch double of high quality in Raymond Van Barneveld and Michael Van Gerwen, and least not forgetting the likes of Adrian Lewis, James Wade, Andy Hamilton and Gary Anderson, the names could continue to flow fluently. However, there is one thing in common with all these. They all deserve to be given the chance on an Olympic stage.

Darts is now a worldwide game, with worldwide interest and growing audiences. It begs to reason why this sport is not yet classed as an Olympic sport, given its magnitude in the modern day sporting era. In an era that focuses on entertainment and success, Darts and the tungsten tide shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.

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PDC World Championships Review

Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor claimed the 2013 PDC World Championship crown, his sixteenth title, but the tournamnet will be remembered for many other highlights.

The final itself witnessed both players average over the 100 mark for three darts, proving that it was one of the best games of darts ever.

Runner-up Michael Van Gerwen hit 17 perfect darts in his semi-final against James Wade, as he became one of only a few players to produce a nine darter at the World Championships.

The video of his perfect 17 darts can be found here http://www.101greatgoals.com/other-sports/stunning-michael-van-gerwens-9-darter-v-james-wade-world-darts-championships/.

Van Gerwen also took out previous double World Champion Adrian Lewis in the quarter-final as he cemented himself as the golden boy of darts.

Lewis had a tournament to forget that rounded off a poor year for the two-time champion, who has been unable to show any of the form that took him to the top of the game.

There was also another nine darter in the championships as Dean Winstanley produced the perfect leg in his defeat to Vincent van der Voort.

The tournament will also be remembered for the return to form of Raymond van Barneveld, who produced some of the best legs ever in his first round match, giving him an average close to 108.

The spat him and the champion had at the end of their last four match was also great drama.

Taylor had been leading 5-1 but a comeback from Barney had put the game in the balance at 5-4 before Taylor held his nerve. However the fireworks started after the game as the handshake turned sour. Taylor has since apoligised for his actions.

However the return to form of Taylor and his sixteenth world title is the major talking point of the event.

His return to the top arguably sees him confirm his status as the greatest ever sportsman.

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Van Gerwen takes out Champion

Michael Van Gerwen won a thrilling darts Quarter final last night 5-4 to put out defending World Champion Adrian Lewis.

Lewis had two darts to win the deciding set but having failed to hit his double, Van Gerwen hit back and held his nerve in the tie breakers to take a famous victory.

The result is one of the best of Van Gerwen’s career, however Lewis has been out of form all season and could not reproduce his world championship form on the biggest stage.

He had lead four times against Lewis but each time the former champion came back to level the match, showing glimpses of his brilliant best.

In the end howecer, he was unable to hold out against one of the most exciting prospects in darts right now,

Van Gerwen goes on to play James Wade in the Semi Final, whilst the other two in the last four are two of the greatest players ever.

15 times World Champion Phil ‘ The Power’ Taylor will face 2007 Champion Raymond van Barneveld in the game of the tournament so far.

Taylor was dominant in his quarter final against Andy Hamilton with his average regularly going over the 100 mark, but it was his percentage on the doubles that truly won him the game, showing his best figures for many months.

You can catch all the action at MODUS Darts: http://theuntouchables.tv/newmodus.

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No Christmas Break

While other European countries have Christmas breaks in their sporting calendar, England prepares for the festive period of sport.

The football fixtures are notoriously brilliant for springing up some superb crackers and this year is no different with big games for the top sides.

Manchester United have to face Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion in quick succession in two tricky games as they look to enter the New Year at the top of the tree.

Other title contenders and current champions Manchester City face Stoke City and they as well as Chelsea have to face inform Norwich City in the winter series of games.

Good runs for Arsenal, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool will propel the sides up the table and make their second half of the season much easier.

At the bottom, there are crucial games for Queens Park Rangers, Reading and Southampton as they try to get a roll going before the transfer market opens.

Yet it is not just football that continues its period. In athletics, the Indoor Championships, both National and International take place in the opening three months of the year, and with form a priority, competitions are quickly coming up.

Regional events take place in January, along with the coveted  UK series against the best in Europe and USA and are great places to get qualifying times and that winning mentality.

Winter Sports are inevitably reaching the middle of their fixture lists and with key championships in 2013, it is important to make a move and keep form, rather than presents, on the mind.

The darts world championship continues through the Christmas break too, and with the cricket coming to an end, and the Australian Open tennis around the corner, the festive period is action packed once more.

You will be able to catch all the action, as well as all the winter sport here at The Sporting week throughout the festive period.

 

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Darts World Championship Preview – By Jack Maleham

The Darts World Championship gets under way this Friday at the Alexandra Palace in London.

The early favourite with the bookmakers to take the crown is Phil ‘ The Power’ Taylor. The 15 time champion has shown the class before to win the title and he has had another excellent year.

He is also possibly the only player who could win the tournament even when he isn’t playing his best. The world number one will be the one to beat again in the capital.

However, it would be foolish to discount defending champion Adrian Lewis. He hasn’t had the best year since wining the tournament last time around, but the world number two did successfully defend the World Darts Championship last year in very similar circumstances.

He hadn’t had the best year then but produced some of his best form to defend the title. This will give Lewis hope of retaining the title again and suggests he can’t be written off.

Many peoples outside favourite going into the event is rising Dutch star Michael van Gerwen. Currently ranked number seven in the world, van Gerwen is a very exciting prospect.

An exceptional 2012 saw him claim the World Grand Prix title in Dublin, meaning that he is currently second favourite going into the World Darts Championship with some of the leading bookmakers.

The 23 year old Dutchman has won a major title already which gives him the experience and this could be a big factor in him being able to win in London.

The other big name player battling it our for the crown is Raymond van Barneveld. He won the Grand Slam of Darts this year and will be hoping to back that up by winning the big one.

However 2007 was the last time he claimed this title and there are currently better players that him on the darts circuit. He is an outsider going into the competition but he cannot be ruled out due to his experience and the pedigree which has seen his claim five World Championships.

Other players who are outsiders but could be possible contenders include Simon Whitlock, Gary Anderson and James Wade.

You can keep up to date with all the action from the tournament live at http://www.modusdarts.tv with sports journalist and Darts expert Chris Murphy guiding you through the tournament and at http://www.pdc.tv

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Darts Season Drawing to Close

The Darts season is drawing to a end for 2012, with only the Players Championship and the big one, the World Championship remaining.

However, this year has been one of the best for darts, and has seen some new names rise and some big names suffer at the oche.

In the six big tournaments since late May, Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor is the only player to have won twice, with Robert Thornton, Raymond Van Barneveld, Michael Van Gerwen and Simon Whitlock taking the others.

There have also been a total of seven different finalists, showing how close and unpredictable darts has become, with current double world champion Adrian Lewis not making it to one of those finals.

Gone are the days when Taylor would always make it to the final. Now there are new boys on the block who play without fear and hit doubles with ease and aplomb. Their averages are high and they have the mental strength to rid of a bad leg and take the next. Having your throw is also now no certainty of winning a leg.

In the recent Grand Slam of Darts, the average three darts score was way over 100 for most of the quarter finalists, and even Phil Taylor who went out in the round of 16 was over that mark.

The number of 180’s are up, the number of big checkouts are ever-increasing, and it is unexpected and a shock if a player fails to take out a high checkout. A thirteen dart leg is now no longer a guarantee of victory, it just puts you in the frame.

This all combines to make darts one of the best sports on the television right now, and the Championships at the end of the season one of the closest to call in years.

It would take a brave man to place any money on a favourite, as ruling out 15 time world champion Taylor would be foolish, Wade would be ridiculous and one of the new boys bizarre.

All in all, Darts has continued to make a name for itself in 2012 and still makes quality TV.

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