Women's Sport: Lisa Ashton wins maiden victory on PDC tour as star refuses "special treatment"

2019 William Hill World Darts Championship - Day One

This weekend Lisa Ashton became the first woman to play in the men’s PDC tour full time. She marked the occasion by beating Germany's Christian Bunse on the second day of the Players Championship.

Ashton started her campaign on day one of the Players Championship in Barnsley on Saturday but was unable to make it past the first round losing to Brendan Dolan, 6-2.

Day two went better for Ashton, however, as she was able to secure a maiden victory on the tour beating Bunse 6-3 with a 100 average. Unfortunately, her progress was stopped by Darius Labanauskas in the last 64, losing 6-2 to the Lithuanian.

Before her debut in the PDC ProTour, the four-time BDO world champion has spoken about not wanting any “special treatment” being the only woman to be featuring in what has traditionally been an all-male competition.

“I don’t want to be thought of as Lisa Ashton, the first woman to play on the men’s tour. No thank you,” she told The Guardian.

“I want to be Lisa Ashton, the dart player. If someone beats me, fair enough. Whether I’m a man or a woman shouldn’t come into it.”

Women in darts continue to hit new heights

Recently, a bigger spotlight than ever is being shone on women in darts particularly since Fallon Sherrock’s impressive displays towards the end of 2019.

2020 William Hill World Darts Championship - Day 12

This has thrust other female darts players like England’s Ashton and Japan’s Mikuru Suzuki into more of the spotlight and opened the conversation about the quality of women’s darts. Ashton believes that this has been a long time coming for fellow women’s players and there is more to come.

“I’ve seen the ladies game snowball in recent years and knew this was the next step, one of us getting a card. Fallon has made the headlines, and wasn’t she brilliant at Ally Pally? But below her, myself and Mikuru Suzuki.

“There are so many names coming through. I think it’s just the start. Barry Hearn said if the women were good enough, they’d get opportunities. We’ve proven that can happen,” she said speaking to The Guardian.

This first weekend competing in the ProTour has produced mixed results for Lisa Ashton, however, it marks an important moment in darts as women continue to find themselves competing on the biggest stages in the game.

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