World Darts Federation (WDF) staged its first World Darts Championships at the spiritual home of darts, the Lakeside Country Club, Frimley Green. After the demise of the British Dart Organisation in September 2020, the World Darts Federation has taken up the mantle to stage some of the import events that were featured on the BDO calendar.
The Lakeside was again the main sponsor of the World Darts Championships, and from a spectator's point of view, the event was a roaring success. Capacity crowds again filled the venue with many donning fancy dress.
The 2022 World Championships were initially delayed due to the threat of UK Government COVID related restrictions. However, the revised schedule fitted in perfectly with other darts events.
This year Lakeside crowned four new World Champions and, for the first time, separate boys and girls events. But with an open field in the men's and women's events, it was hard to call who would likely be lifting the trophies from the outset. However, some punters may have enjoyed some great odds while also playing some of the greatest online games using the best casino bonus to increase their play. Most dart fans enjoy a bit of downtime playing online games via their mobile devices, including some of the players!
The World Championship truly had an international feel. For several of the players, it was their Lakeside debut, and although there were some familiar faces, it certainly was a scene of out with the old and hello to the new.
After a number of the familiar faces had lost out in the first or second round of the championships, the final was played out by Number four seed Niel Duff from Northern Ireland and the number two see Thibault Tricole from Francs. Not only was it the first time the pair had played at a World Championship, but it was also the first time that a player from Northern Ireland and France had made such a final.
Although the final may not have reached the dart averages we are used to seeing in the major PDC events, it still delivered the drama we have come used to seeing. The final went to the final set with Niel Duff, eventually winning five sets to four. Neil became World Champion on his daughter's eighteenth birthday.
For Tricole, he will undoubtedly inspire a new generation of French players to pick up the arrows, and it could become another hotbed of darts like the Netherlands. The origins of the sport stem from France. Hence they should know one or two things about throwing the small arrows!
The event was missing some of the big names and former World Champions. Lisa Ashton, who had played on the PDC circuit for the past two years, wasn't eligible to play. One of the recently most famous ladies darts players, Fallon Sherrock, was initially invited to play in the event in January, but due to an overlap with the PDC World Championships, she pulled out of the WDF event, and others were invited to play in her place.
Following the IOC ruling on excluding Russian players, the WDF has also excluded Russian players from the WDF events. In the women's event, this meant former World Champion Anastasia Dobromyslova was excluded. Fallon again was offered a place in the revised line-up, but after initially accepting the invite, she declined as pressure from others believed she had already declined her invite and therefore had already forfeited her opportunity to play.
Also missing was the former ten-time World Darts Champion Trina Gulliver MBE. Trina had fallen ill just before the 2020 BDO World Championship and, after a long spell in hospital, had been away from the darts oche, and her ranking fell.
In many viewers' eyes, the Women's event was better than the men's. With a mixed bag of poor throws and brilliant averages throughout the event, England's Beau Greaves became triumphant. At the age of eighteen, Beau produced some of the best darts of the tournament, winning the final four sets to nil against England Kirsty Hutchinson. Beau becomes the youngest male or female to win a World Darts tournament.
It was nice to see the separation of the youth championships, and for the first time, both a boy's and girls champion were crowned. Bradly Roes from the Netherlands won the boys while Eleanor Cairns won the girls.
The stanging of the 2023 WDF World Championships is again likely to return to the Lakeside and the usual schedule time in January 2023