With question marks over prize money and the global rise of Fallon Sherrock in recent weeks, women’s darts are finally beginning to hit the headlines, but who are the big names to look out for leading into the BDO World Championships?
Despite the BDO’s confirmation that prize money will be lower than in recent years, as the tournament moves from its iconic lakeside venue to the O2 London, the majority of the world’s top-ranked players will still be challenging for silverware.
Four-time World Champion and current world number one Lisa Ashton is favourite to add to her trophy cabinet when she takes on world number 12 Paula Jacklin in an all English clash on Tuesday.
Ashton is favoured by the bookmakers to Mikuri Suzuki, who is the defending champion and beat Ashton in straight sets at last year’s competition. Like Fallon Sherrock, who will not compete in the tournament after sighting “unexpected changes”, Suzuki also competed at the recent men’s PDC World Championship’s and came agonisingly close to being the first female player to defeat a man herself. She eventually lost out to James Richardson by three sets to two but will hope to build on that performance when she takes on Maria O’Brien on Monday.
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Other contenders include world number three Beau Greaves and three-time winner Anastasia Dobromyslova. Another notable absentee, however, is ten-time champion Trina Gulliver (MBE) who is the most decorated player in the history of the sport. Gulliver had taken part in every World Championship since 2001, but has struggled this season and has decided to withdraw due to “ill health.” Tori Kewish has replaced the former champion and will play Greaves later this evening at 20:15.
It is worth noting that whilst Sherrock’s exploits in recent weeks are certainly worthy of praise, she is yet to win a women’s World Championship. This is not to discredit her achievements in any way, but rather to emphasise the standard of women’s darts in general.
Suzuki, Ashton, Dobromyslova are all good enough to compete with the men’s elite, so this year’s tournament promises to provide the public with some highly-competitive and highly-enjoyable entertainment.News Now - Sport News