‘I’m gonna be homeless’: How an Aussie boxer rose from the depths of despair to booking a ticket to the Olympics

Australian boxer Marissa Williamson-Pohlman.()

From on the brink of homelessness to booking a ticket to the Olympics, Marissa Williamson-Pohlman has had to fight tooth and nail for everything she has.

It’s December 2023, and Marissa Williamson-Pohlman is seated across from me in front of a ceiling-high Christmas tree at her house in inner Naarm/Melbourne.

Packed to the brim with decorations, and with presents lining the floor beneath it, the tree is hard to miss.

“We take Christmas very seriously in this weird, blended family,” Williamson-Pohlman says.

“Mum goes hammer and tong for it.”

“I think it’s important,” Williamson-Pohlman’s adoptive mother says.

“It reflects the values of this family. Abject poverty? Don’t know her anymore. This six foot Christmas tree won’t do.”

By Williamson-Pohlman’s own admission, the last three years have signalled a dramatic turnaround in both their personal and boxing life.

(Williamson-Pohlman, who identifies as a queer Blak woman, uses she/they pronouns, and asks me to mix them up throughout the article).

In November last year, she became the first Aboriginal woman to qualify for the Australian Olympic boxing team, due to compete in Paris in July.

Earlier in 2023, the Ngarrindjeri woman made history again as the first to win the coveted Arthur Tunstall trophy for Australia’s best amateur boxer.

After a tumultuous upbringing, and years of mental health struggles, Williamson-Pohlman can scarcely believe how far they’ve come.

This is the story of how a period of much-needed stability turned her life around.

0V1A8724

‘Hey, I’m going to be homeless’

Marissa Williamson (without the Pohlman) was born one of six kids, and describes her biological mother as “mentally unwell”.

“She was self-medicating with drugs and extremely violent,” they say.

By age 13, Williamson-Pohlman was fully ensconced in the foster system.

Over a five-year period, she went through 16 placements, before becoming homeless during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the time, Williamson-Pohlman was training out of a gym in Hoppers Crossing, and ended up living above it.

But without a job, they couldn’t afford to pay rent, or eat. Williamson-Pohlman, who normally fights at 66kg, weighed just 57kg.

MWP1
Riss warms up in 2019 before a fight. 
Riss posted this photo to announce their move to the Collingwood gym.
MWP3 (1)
Announced as the winner of their fight, Riss breaks down in a moment they describe as ‘one of the lowest places I’ve been mentally in my life’.()

The gym, which had shut down because of lockdowns, was also getting broken into on multiple occasions.

“[The gym] was an awful place to be,” she recalls.

“There’s a massive Muslim community in Hoppers Crossing, and families were just leaving me food or putting money in my shoes.

“I was stuck in a hard place. I was like, ‘I’ve got literally no contacts, no immediate family, no friends. I’m legitimately f***ed.'”

It was then Williamson-Pohlman picked up the phone to call the person they now call Mum.

The two women had met through the Victorian Aboriginal Child Protection Agency, and later re-connected on social media.

“She took my call straight away,” Willimson-Pohlman says.

“I was like, ‘hey, I’m gonna be homeless’.

“I had like $14 worth of coins, and I just put them into my car and drove to her house. She took me in, and I sort of never left.”

It was then ‘Riss’ decided to take the surname Pohlman, in honour of their adoptive Mum.

“That was three years ago, and the rest is history.”

‘I’d get into fights about literally anything’

Williamson-Pohlman never aspired to be a boxer, which is not to say she wasn’t accustomed to fighting.

They grew up on Wadawurrung country, near Geelong, but due to the ever-changing nature of foster placements, was forced to swap schools regularly.

One particular move, from Manor Lakes to Lara, separated Williamson-Pohlman from a number of good friends.

0V1A8383
Riss used to find herself in fights at school, over ‘literally anything’.()

She begged the school principal to let her come back, but he was reluctant, citing her history of getting into fights.

“I remember him saying ‘I don’t want a violent person in the school,'” Williamson-Pohlman recalls.

He agreed to let Williamson-Pohlman return on a behavioural contract with two conditions: they were to maintain perfect attendance, and not get into any more fights.

Asked what the fights were about, Williamson-Pohlman laughs, before replying: “literally anything”.

The principal also suggested she take up football, as a way to let off some steam, which led to her training with the Geelong Falcons, before being accepted into the state squad.

Rissfooty
Riss playing footy in the middle of 2018.
Rissfooty2
A school principal suggested football as a way to blow off some steam.
Rissfooty3
Riss said she threw herself into sport and study to keep her out of trouble.()

“I just threw myself into sport and study, because it kept me out of the house and out of trouble, when I easily could’ve dabbled in something else,” they say.

Boxing came into Williamson-Pohlman’s life around the same time. She qualified for a state title, but got into trouble at school in the lead-up, with the principal pulling her out of the fight as a result.

Realising how much they wanted to box, Williamson-Pohlman committed to “staying on track”, accepting an offer to join a boxing tour in New Zealand/Aotearoa, and quitting football.

Getting pulled out of the state title, she says, “taught me life skills”.

“I really had to pull my head in … so I hung up the boots and never looked back,” she says.

Getting their life on track wasn’t a simple case of discipline, however.

“In boxing, you’re not fighting,” she explains.

“It’s about training yourself to stay calm. You’re in a pressure cooker and someone’s trying to knock your head off.

“Your opponent knows how to fight, so you can’t just bully them.

“I was really surprised by the art of it.”

They also found it was impossible to separate boxing from life outside the ring.

The art of staying calm in a fight
The art of staying calm in a fight has been an important lesson to learn.()

“I would run out of adrenaline after the first round of a fight,” she says.

“Basically you’re having a trauma response in the ring, and you really wanna knock your opponent out, but you have to stay really calm.

“I had to learn to train my fight, flight or freeze response.”

Mastering her trauma response, she says, has been a combination of finding the right coach and “tonnes of therapy”.

“I’ve seen a psychologist for almost four years now,” they say.

“And now I’m a massive mental health advocate. I honestly wouldn’t be able to be the person I am today without doing all the work I have, and also being medicated.”

Williamson-Pohlman’s coach, Kel Bryant, has been pivotal in her most recent successes.

002A5109

Bryant’s first encounter with Williamson-Pohlman came when he attended a day of competition boxing with one of his fighters.

As Bryant went to leave, a coachless Williamson-Pohlman entered the ring to face a much older and more experienced opponent.

“This girl came rushing past me at the doorway to the gym and nearly knocked me over,” he recalls.

“There was just something about her. A bit of an energy there.”

Bryant decided to stay and watch the fight. Despite Williamson-Pohlman getting “badly beaten”, he turned to his assistant coach and declared that he would like to coach them.

“He said, ‘what for?’ She just lost,” Bryant says.

“I said, ‘Yeah but she never gave in. She doesn’t know how to fight; wouldn’t have a clue. But she kept going. I reckon I could make a champion out of her.'”

As it happens, Bryant, who served in the military for 44 years (including 24 years as a physical trainer) has a knack for producing champions.

His gym — the not-for-profit Collingwood Youth Boxing Club — boasts 17 national titles, more than any other gym in Australia.

It’s an incredible feat given the space, when Bryant first encountered it, was decrepit, and due to be demolished.

“The floorboards were rotten,” he says.

“The ring was on a slant, the walls had been kicked in, and there were syringes everywhere. I thought, ‘it’s better than nothing.'”

As Bryant tells it, a couple of drug addicts were using the side entrance to inject. He moved them on, but invited them to come back and box once he’d cleaned the place up.

002A5389 (1)
Coach Kel Bryant has been pivotal in helping Riss make the most out of their talents.()

Bryant, who grew up in commission housing in Sydney, says he wanted it to be a place for “anybody”.

“I mostly trained people from the high rise [commission houses]. People from Richmond and Collingwood. Lots of African and Vietnamese kids,” he says.

The gym, as he puts it, gave both him and his charges a sense of belonging.

“The army saved me [from] going down the wrong road,” he says.

“A lot of my friends, it was the same old story, they’d all gone down a bad road and died of drug overdoses.

“Boxing then gave me a way to inject myself back into the civilian world.”

‘He never gave up on me’

Several weeks after watching Williamson-Pohlman get beaten in the ring, Bryant received a call about a boxer looking for a coach. The caller thought he’d be a good fit.

Hoping to retire from coaching, he says he accepted against his better judgement, not realising the boxer was Riss.

As Williamson-Pohlman tells it, many had warned Bryant not to take them on.

“People were calling him up being like, ‘don’t take her, she’s trouble.’ And I was,” they say.

“But he’s a stubborn arsehole. He was basically like, you’re telling me not to [coach her], so I’m gonna.”

0V1A8776
Bryant accepted the coaching role despite his ‘better judgement’.
002A4910
The professional relationship has helped Riss reach the top of their game.
002A5636
Out of the ring, Riss describes Bryant as a father figure.()

According to Bryant, the two hit it off immediately, which is not to say it was all smooth sailing.

“To be honest we’ve had a couple of blues where she’s probably been a bit of a bitch,” he says.

One of those incidents led to Bryant temporarily kicking Williamson-Pohlman out of the gym, before eventually welcoming her back.

Asked how they make it work, Bryant says he can relate.

“I was probably a bit like that myself,” he says.

“I was probably worse than her, actually.”

“I think he understood me on a deeper level”, Williamson-Pohlman says.

“And he never gave up on me.”

0V1A8331
Bryant has been there Riss through the toughest times as they climbed the mountain to the Olympics.()

Indeed, Bryant has been by Williamson-Pohlman’s side during the most gruelling periods.

This includes rushing to her aid after a “really bad” suicide attempt during COVID-19 lockdowns.

Williamson-Pohlman says they attempted suicide every year from age 13-19, and were in a particularly bad headspace after the end of an abusive relationship.

“The person I called to pick me up was Kel [Bryant],” she says.

“I’ve never seen anyone look so scared. He was like: ‘something’s got to change.'”

Bryant suggested Williamson-Pohlman, who was staying on their adoptive Mum’s couch at the time, move out on their own.

She cites it as a game-changer.

“It was so peaceful,” they reflect.

“I just felt like I had a space where I could think through everything, unpack and evolve.

“The solitude that you gain from being by yourself for the first time in your life, and having a really safe environment that’s yours [is massive].”

Conveniently, the apartment was situated close to Bryant’s gym in Collingwood. At first, he didn’t ask Williamson-Pohlman to set any boxing goals.

“It was just our goal to meet every day for coffee,” she says.

“So we did. And we developed this really strong bond. He’s like a father to me.”

untitled-4
Moving into their own space was an important moment for Riss. ()

It’s a sentiment Bryant reciprocates.

“It was a real flourishing point,” he says.

“We’d talk about anything and everything. Not just boxing. And we became closer and closer.

“She’s like a daughter to me. I worry about her. She’s had more friction than a second hand dart board.”

‘The biggest ‘f*** you’

While living alone was an important step for Williamson-Pohlman, they have since moved back into their adoptive Mum’s house.

It’s the first time since age nine that she has lived with family.

“It’s just been a wonderful year, learning how to be a daughter,” they say.

During this period, she has returned to spend time on Ngarrindjeri country, and built strong ties with Yidinji (through their adoptive Mum) and Quandamooka mob, through Auntie LJ, one of her “favourite people in the world”.

Williamson-Pohlman has also taken on a role in the Department of Premier and Cabinet, in heritage policy at First Peoples State Relations.

002A5278
“It’s hard work being an Aboriginal person in government right now.”
untitled-9
Riss has built strong ties with the Yidinji (and Quandamooka mobs.
untitled-7
Riss became the first woman to win the Arthur Tunstall award.()

“It’s hard work being an Aboriginal person in government right now,” they say, reflecting on the result of the 2023 Voice referendum.

“I had mixed emotions about [the referendum]. Like, it never should have been done without consent in the first place, but obviously it sucks knowing most of the ‘no’ votes are racist.”

In the lead-up to the referendum, Williamson-Pohlman was simultaneously battling systemic racism in her chosen sport.

One of their crowning achievements, becoming the first woman to win the Arthur Tunstall award, was marred by Tunstall’s history of racism and sexism.

In 2000, as chef de mission of the Australian team, Tunstall reprimanded Cathy Freeman for choosing to carry the Aboriginal flag on her victory lap at the Sydney Olympics.

He was also ‘totally opposed’ to women’s boxing, famously stating that ‘a woman is a petite person, not to be knocked about’.

0V1A7957
Riss said there was some satisfaction in winning the Arthur Tunstall award, despite his history of sexism and racism.()

When asked how she felt about receiving the award, Williamson-Pohlman smiles wryly.

“To be the first one to win it, to be queer, be Blackfella, and a woman, it’s actually the biggest f*** you,” they say.

She says she wrote to Boxing Australia to ask them to change the name of the award, but had the request knocked back.

“I didn’t realise how deeply embedded the sport was in misogyny,” they reflect.

“So it just depends on what lens you take. It’s quite satisfying at the same time.

“I’m that bitch too. I love pissing people off, and I just know he’d be mad.”

“Tunstall would be rolling in his grave right now,” adds Bryant, smiling.

“I’m very proud.”

‘I thought my Olympic dream was over’

Williamson-Pohlman qualified for the Olympics by defeating Cara Wharerau in the final of the Pacific Games in November 2023.

Bryant, watching ringside, remembers being ‘covered in goosebumps’.

“As a coach, when you get those big wins, you’re quite emotional,” he says.

“There’s nothing better than that feeling.”

The feat was all the more impressive given Williamson-Pohlman had dislocated her knee just weeks earlier, and faced a nervous wait for medical clearance.

002A5281

“It was terrifying, I thought my Olympic dream was over,” they say.

“My kneecap moved about 12mm, hit the femur bone, bounced and shaved off all the cartilage in my leg and damaged the ligaments.”

What Williamson-Pohlman didn’t realise was that she had an existing MCL (medial cruciate ligament) strain, which caused the dislocation.

Competing at the Pacific Games required a number of platelet-rich plasma injections (where the athlete’s own blood cells are injected into an area requiring healing), as well as a leap of faith from Williamson-Pohlman and their treating team.

She blames the injury on the sport being amateur, which means working full-time to support her athletic career.

Over a month ago, they made the decision to step away from work, living off their savings and sponsorship money until Paris.

Previously, they had worked Monday to Friday, heading straight from work to the gym in Collingwood, training six days a week.

In Australia, boxers don’t receive funding when they qualify for the Olympics.

002A5605
The journey to the Olympics has been long and arduous …
untitled-3
… and the moment to head to Paris has almost arrived.
untitled-13
Whatever the result at the 2024 Olympics, Marissa Williamson-Pohlman’s journey has been one of grit, determination, and inspiration. 

“It’s not like I have [biological] parents giving me a hand,” she says.

Williamson-Pohlman, however, is up for the fight.

Elsewhere they have credited their resilience to being a “staunch Blak woman”, as well as their Aboriginal heritage.

“I don’t give up,” she says.

“I’m headstrong. If I want something, I’m gonna get it. I’m gonna work my arse off for it. And that’s every single Blackfella that I know.”

As inspirations, they cite “black matriarchs” including Lidia Thorpe, and other “strong, powerful Blak women” like their adoptive Mum.

“They’ve had to overcome so much to just get what others get handed to them,” Williamson-Pohlman says.

“So I’m like, [the Olympics] is nothing in comparison to what they do.”

Sports content to make you think… or allow you not to. A newsletter delivered each Saturday.

Source link

#gonna #homeless #Aussie #boxer #rose #depths #despair #booking #ticket #Olympics

History beckons in Saudi Arabia, as boxing finally finds out who really is the heavyweight champion

It’s the biggest fight in a generation.

The first undisputed heavyweight boxing title fight in the four-belt era.

Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk will meet in boxing’s new home, Riyadh, as the Saudi Arabian takeover of pugilism at the highest, showbiziest level, continues.

And this time the Saudi money has talked again, as the two recognised heavyweight champions signed on the dotted line to create a super fight of the likes rarely seen since the 90s.

Both men are undefeated with multiple accomplishments in the ring, but victory in the desert on Saturday night will propel both into the realms of sporting immortality.

But at the end of the night, only one man can hold up one of the biggest prizes in sport.

Usyk on the verge of immortality

Usyk can already, justifiably call himself one of boxing’s greats.

The former undisputed cruiserweight champion that moved up in weight to dethrone and outclass a British boxing legend. Twice.

The figurehead and inspiration for a country at war.

He won his first world cruiserweight crown, the WBO title, in his 10th professional bout, in the backyard of Polish fighter Krzysztof Głowacki.

Source link

#History #beckons #Saudi #Arabia #boxing #finally #finds #heavyweight #champion

‘It’s our purpose’: How two young men from the NT combat mental health issues in their community

When Jahdai Vigona and Danté Rodrigues were heading down the wrong path after high school, they had two options: keep going or make a change.

They chose the latter, and ever since they have been working tirelessly to improve the mental and physical health of Indigenous men in their community.

The two cousins, who are are both proud Tiwi Islands men, say that with the help of mentors, family members and positive role models, they were able to turn things around for themselves, and hope to do the same for others.

“Jahdai and I grew up around a lot of things like domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse and crime and for a while we were even going off on our own wrong path,” Danté says.

“I’m only 22 and I’ve lost more friends and family than I can count,” Jahdai adds.

“I’ve attended more funerals than weddings in my lifetime. That’s just the harsh reality for someone like me coming from the NT.”

A better self, 1 per cent at a time

Jahdai and Danté decided to take matters into their own hands — or boxing gloves.

“How can you expect someone to be a good person, if you don’t teach them how to be,” Danté says.

“We are lucky that we had a lot of positive role models to help us, but for a lot of people in the Northern Territory, Indigenous or not, they just don’t have that support.” 

With their One Percent program, they try to help young Indigenous men in the Northern Territory become better versions of themselves day by day, 1 per cent at a time.

Mindfulness is a integral part of Jahdai and Danté’s program.(Supplied)

The duo run weekly sessions in Darwin, inviting anyone who’s keen for a work-out and a proper feed to join.

A session usually starts around 10 in the morning at an oval in Darwin. Participants start with a jog around the field.

What follows is Danté leading the physical component of the session, which consists of kickboxing, pad work and other exercises.

The second half of the session moves into the more spiritual side.

“We do team building and I facilitate theatre work as a way of strengthening communications and bonds within the group,” Jahdai says.

Theatre work generally takes the form of games that strengthen group bonds, like one where the participants have to count to 21 by yelling a number without interrupting each other.

If they manage to get to 21 uninterrupted, Jahdai asks the group who didn’t yell out a number. Those quieter members are encouraged to let their voices be heard in the next round.

“Sometimes there are stronger voices and sometimes quieter ones, but we try to teach people that the stronger voices aren’t any more or less important than the quiet ones,” he says. 

Group picture of 20-odd people on a field, behind them are soccer goals.

Participants start off the day with a jog around the field.(Supplied)

The program also incorporates a lot of practical life skills.

“I’ve had to figure a lot of things out for myself, like how to get a loan for a car, how to do my taxes, how to write a proper job application, how to communicate, how to write effectively,” Jahdai says.

“All these foundational skills you think you’d learn in 12 years of schooling.”

Danté acknowledges that a lot of those skills are usually taught by parents.

“But a lot of kids, Indigenous or not, don’t have that. We want to make those services more available to people like us.” 

Jahdai and Danté know from their own experience what it’s like to struggle with their mental health.

One of the things that helped them through it is sports.

Two young men are pictured sitting down on a flight of stairs.

Jahdai and Danté have used their own personal experiences and backgrounds to develop the program.(ABC News: Leah White)

Discipline through kickboxing

Danté, who is also a professional fighter and has competed in the WAKO Kickboxing World Championships, explains how his sport got him off the wrong path.

“There was drug and alcohol abuse, not attending school, running amok and just being a nuisance. You know, normal stuff,” he says. 

“But when I started focusing full time on sport, that’s when I noticed my life was getting better in almost every aspect.

“A really big lesson that kicked into me was to surround myself with positive people, always.”

Two men are pictured, the one of the left is hitting at the boxing pads that the one on the right is holding.

Danté says kickboxing helped him get his life under control.(Supplied)

Kickboxing teaches important values like discipline and self-worth, he says.

“That sport builds so much resilience and so much accountability, compared to any other sport,” he says.

“It teaches young men that when you get knocked down, you have to get back up.”

More than just boxing

“[The program] covers all aspects of needs for a young male. It’s spiritual through meditation and mindfulness, there’s social connection and a mental health side where we talk and listen to each other,” Jahdai says.

Jahdai, who has a mental health education background, has worked a lot with Indigenous youth in correctional settings and remote communities.

He uses those experiences at the One Percent Program. Each session focuses on a different value: from discipline to mindfulness and social connections.

A row of men is pictured boxing, some hold pads as others are wearing gloves, hitting at the pads.

“[The program] covers all aspects of needs for a young male,” Jahdai says. (Supplied)

Fourteen-year-old Numaka Jarlson says the program has taught him about discipline.

“It’s been something that gets me out of bed on the weekends instead of just sitting on my phone all day,” he says.

“[The program] gives me a really good model of a good man … It gives me a standard that I look up to.”

“I really enjoy just settling down and just talking about feelings and life because I think it’s really meaningful and it’s really important. 

Loading Instagram content

‘It’s our purpose’

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that in 2022 the rate of suicide among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was more than twice that of the broader population, with over three-quarters of those who died by suicide being male. 

Earlier this year a Darwin inquest was told that NT’s child and youth suicide rate was more than three times the national average.

Two men are pictured, both are wearing sunnies are wearing dark shirts. They are standing on a field with soccer goals.

Jahdai and Danté say that there is a need for a program like theirs.(Supplied)

Jahdai and Danté say they get regular reminders of why they started the program.

“We’ve had participants share with us that three days before coming to a session they felt suicidal. The only thing that got them out of the house was participating in our program,” Jahdai says.

“We didn’t think a program like this would have such an impact and to hear stuff like that from our participants, shows that there’s a need for it.

“The program really is just who we are, our characters, our people’s upbringing, it’s what we want to do. It’s our purpose,” Jahdai concludes. 

Danté agrees: “It’s a reflection of who we are.” 



Source link

#purpose #young #men #combat #mental #health #issues #community

Do combat sports really measure up when it comes to women’s self-defen

“Developing self-defence skills means reclaiming autonomy, thus regaining control over one’s environment. We are no longer at the mercy of someone,” according to psychotraumatology psychologist, Julie Francols. But are combat sports effective when it comes to fending off an unexpected attack?

ADVERTISEMENT

More and more women are venturing into the world of self-defence and combat sports, a trend strongly supported by recent data. A report from the French government highlights an 11% rise in martial arts licences and a 51% surge in combat sports licences among women between 2012 and 2017. Despite these fields being male-dominated in 2017, with martial arts and combat sports having a female participation of 32% and 31% respectively, by 2022, a notable shift was observed. According to the French National Institute of Youth and Popular Education, in France in that year, the majority of Martial Arts licences were owned by women, accounting for 62% compared to 38% for men.

In Lyon, France, the organisation Renouveau Boxe helps women who have been the victims of domestic violence, by offering boxing training.

A participant of the class, who didn’t wish to be named, added: “This training allows us to regain self-confidence and to see ourselves as people. What it shows us is that we’re not alone in this situation. And actually, we’re not ashamed. Because, very often we feel responsible for what’s happening and ashamed of it. But being with others who have lived through the same thing means we understand each other and speak the same language.”

Samir Hamzaoui, an instructor and former high-level boxer, shared his inspiration: “I know what it is to take hits and to put myself in the shoes of someone who can’t defend themselves. That’s what led me to start this project.”

Delving deeper, what spurs some women’s interest in combat sports?

Julie Francols, a Psychotraumatology Psychologist, shed some light on this. “Experiencing an assault makes you feel robbed of something. The assailant unjustly takes control over you. However, developing self-defence skills means reclaiming autonomy and the ability to defend oneself, thus regaining control over one’s environment. We are no longer at the mercy of someone.” She further observed, “You can see it in people from the time they start the training to when they finish; their bodies express the change: they now exist in the world differently.”

How effective are these disciplines when it comes to preventing violence?

Christy Martin, a former boxing champion and survivor of domestic violence, weighed in on the issue. “Even though I was a boxing champion, I was physically and mentally abused by a man… He had threatened to kill me for 20 years, so I would push, but you only push so hard. It was not a match. Even though he was 20 years older, he was still stronger than me. So, physically, I was never going to be able to fight him and win. I mean, any time that he hit me, even if I pushed physically back, I just got hit harder. So, I was never going to win that physical altercation. And the truth is, I never won the emotional altercations, either.” On 23 November, 2010, Christy Marty was stabbed and shot by her husband. At the time, she was 42 years old and the welterweight champion credited with putting women’s boxing on the map.

Julie Francols told us it’s not simply a matter of knowing how to defend oneself: “When we are attacked, the first response, which is an automatic reflex by our autonomic nervous system, uses either attack, flight or freezing up. At that moment, the victim is paralysed”.

“To implement these self-defence techniques, there needs to be a few brief seconds that allow the person to regain control of the situation. It requires a lot of training for self-defence techniques to become automatic. However, at first there will always be these automatic, involuntary responses.”

Navigating trauma and expectations

Addressing a critical aspect of recovery, Julie Junquet, a consultant on issues of sexual and sexist violence and discrimination in sports, highlighted the challenges faced by survivors of violence: “I don’t see self-defence as a solution in the fight against sexual violence, and I find there’s even a message that can be guilt-inducing for these women who take classes, who tell themselves, ‘now I know how to defend myself’, if they face an assault in the future and unfortunately can’t reproduce the techniques they’ve learned. I find that can be somewhat guilt-inducing.”

Junquet also highlighted additional misconceptions about these training programs. “The societal messages are problematic. Don’t dress like that, don’t walk alone at night, learn to defend yourself; it’s always problematic. No, we don’t want to learn to defend ourselves; we just want not to be assaulted!

“We know that placing oneself in conditions of struggle, combat, or potential assault can trigger flashbacks of the real assault, trigger revivals, and there, it can trigger in the brain certain mechanisms that are quite dangerous. Placing oneself in a situation of assault is not trivial.”

Christy Martin cautioned against creating a false sense of invincibility: “You have to be careful with teaching self-defence, so that we don’t put a false belief out there, thinking ‘OK, I’m going to do this self-defence class, and then I’m always going to be able to fight off anybody that attacks me.’ That is not the case.”

So, how can this kind of training reach its fullest potential?

Christy Martin believes it’s not merely about the physical aspect but the self-belief the training instills. “It’s really not about the skills that you’re learning; it’s not about throwing a right hand, throwing a left hook. It’s about the confidence that learning those skills gives you, and that confidence helps you be stronger to stand up for yourself.”

She credits her boxing career for helping her survive the attack she was a victim of. “I think my boxing career gave me mental strength. Much more than it gave me physical strength. Mentally, it made me a fighter. And when I was laying on the floor after being shot and stabbed, I believed in me. I mentally thought ‘with the help of God, I can get up and get out’.”

Source link

#combat #sports #measure #womens #selfdefen

World Darts Championship: Luke Littler’s dreams ended by Luke Humphries in sensational final

Luke Littler defeated 7-4 by world No 1 Luke Humphries in final; Premier League Darts returns to Sky Sports on Thursday February 1 as Cardiff kicks off the 17-week extravaganza all the way through to the Play-Offs on Thursday May 23 at London’s O2

Last Updated: 03/01/24 10:51pm


Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Humphries hits the winning darts to defeat Luke Littler 7-4 in the World Darts Championship final

Humphries hits the winning darts to defeat Luke Littler 7-4 in the World Darts Championship final

Luke Littler’s World Darts Championship dreams were finally ended by world No 1 Luke Humphries in a sensational final at Alexandra Palace on Wednesday night.

Humphries fought back from 4-2 down to win five consecutive sets and win his maiden world title 7-4 to make it four major victories in a row following his success at the World Grand Prix, Grand Slam of Darts, and Players Championship Finals in recent months.

“I’ll draw a lot from this and this will be a moment that will never be forgotten,” Humphries told Sky Sports. “I don’t want to say that I’ve completed darts but everything that you want on the resume I’ve done now, so now it’s now about motivating yourself to do more and more.

World Darts Championship Final

Luke Humphries 7-4 Luke Littler

Humphries said he couldn't ask for more after claiming the World Darts Championship title

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Humphries said he couldn’t ask for more after claiming the World Darts Championship title

Humphries said he couldn’t ask for more after claiming the World Darts Championship title

Littler said: “It has been unbelievable. The one negative was I lost too many legs with my throw so Luke could break me.

“That was the only negative, I just couldn’t hold my own throw and I didn’t win. Every game has been good but that one has just really annoyed me, especially the three missed to keep it going.

“That’s what the crowd wanted but fair play to Luke, he deserves it.”

Humphries started the better by capitalising on a slow start from Littler to take the opening set 3-1 with a 99.2 average despite eight missed darts at doubles.

It didn’t take ‘The Nuke’ long to discover his best in the second set, coming from 2-1 down by producing two 12-dart legs with the aid of a spectacular 142 checkout and a ‘Shanghai’ 120 finish.

Littler hit a 142 and a 120 checkouts to win the second set

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Littler hit a 142 and a 120 checkouts to win the second set

Littler hit a 142 and a 120 checkouts to win the second set

The third set also went the distance with ‘Cool Hand’ edging it from 2-0 down to regain the upper hand with a 116 checkout to take it, but the Warrington teenage sensation struck back to secure the fourth set 3-1 and restore parity with a 99 average and an impressive 47 per cent on the doubles.

It was 2-2 in sets and 9-9 in legs with nothing to separate the two players.

Littler nailed this 122 checkout to the despair of Humphries

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Littler nailed this 122 checkout to the despair of Humphries

Littler nailed this 122 checkout to the despair of Humphries

For the first time in the match, the player who started the set won it after nine break of throws in 22 legs, with World Youth Champion Littler going ahead for the first time in the match before wrapping up the fifth set, averaging a ton.

The new world No 1 found himself under pressure here as Littler made it nine legs from the last 11 to open up a two-set advantage at 4-2.

Humphries reeled in his second 170 finish in a matter of days in a seventh set which was full of carnage.

Humphries took out 'The Big Fish' in the final

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Humphries took out ‘The Big Fish’ in the final

Humphries took out ‘The Big Fish’ in the final

Littler responded with a third ton-plus finish of the final – a 122 checkout – which Wayne Mardle described as “spiteful, dirty, nasty!” in the commentary box, before Humphries survived a set dart before sealing it on double 14 to reduce the deficit.

And Humphries piled in a classy 121 checkout on the bull to make it back-to-back sets to get back on level terms with a 114.17 set average but it also coincided with Littler slightly dropping off.

Humphries took out this 121 checkout in a sensational final

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Humphries took out this 121 checkout in a sensational final

Humphries took out this 121 checkout in a sensational final

The 28-year-old Newbury thrower threw back-to-back 108 checkouts to lead 2-0 in the ninth set and although the teenager battled back to level up, a 180 to start the set and a 36 checkout enabled Humphries to win the leg and set in 11 darts.

Humphries pinned back-to-back 108 checkouts

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Humphries pinned back-to-back 108 checkouts

Humphries pinned back-to-back 108 checkouts

A relentless Humphries made it four sets on the spin as he took full control of the final to go within a set of the title, despite Littler reeling in a ‘Big Fish’ of his own.

However, it was ‘Cool Hand’ who got his hands on the Sid Waddell Trophy to become the 12th different PDC World Champion after pinning double 8 in the 11th set.

Talking about Littler, Humphries said: “I’m not just saying this because it will please everyone, but Luke has been an unbelievable talent.

“Not just about the dartboard, he has been fantastic with all the media that has come about with him and he took the defeat so well.

“He said go on and celebrate. You will never see another down-to-earth 16-year-old kid like him who is just something else.

“I really hope he’s in the Premier League because, if he don’t want to play in it fair enough, but I think he’d be a pleasure to play alongside this year.

“He’s one of the best players in the world, there is no doubt about that.”

Littler nailed his own 170 checkout in an incredible final

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Littler nailed his own 170 checkout in an incredible final

Littler nailed his own 170 checkout in an incredible final

Social media reaction to Humphries win…

Premier League Darts returns to Sky Sports on Thursday February 1 as Cardiff kicks off the 17-week extravaganza all the way through to the Play-Offs on Thursday May 23. Stream Sky Sports Darts without a contract through NOW



Source link

#World #Darts #Championship #Luke #Littlers #dreams #ended #Luke #Humphries #sensational #final

Luke Littler reaches World Darts Championship final after beating Rob Cross at Alexandra Palace

Luke Littler, 16, moves one win away from Alexandra Palace glory after crushing Rob Cross 6-2 in semi-finals; Littler will face Luke Humphries in final; We’re back at 7.30pm on Wednesday for the World Darts Championship final – live on Sky Sports Darts

Last Updated: 03/01/24 12:15am


Luke Littler defeated 2018 champion Rob Cross to reach the World Darts Championship final

Teenager Luke Littler made it through to the World Darts Championship final after crushing Rob Cross to go within one match of a remarkable maiden title at Alexandra Palace.

Littler averaged 106.05, hitting 16 maximums and ton-plus finishes of 149, 142 and 132 en route to a magnificent 6-2 victory against 2018 winner Cross at the age of 16.

He will face another in-form player in Luke Humphries, who hit top gear to whitewash Scott Williams 6-0 in the second semi-final to become the new world No 1 and stretch his unbeaten run to 18 matches.

“No words! Crazy to think I’m in a World Championship final in my debut,” Littler told Sky Sports. “I was happy winning one game but I could go all the way!

“You’re playing Rob, he’s a world champion and won on debut. Rob told me ‘God bless, you’re a step away, do it’.

“I’ve just settled on the stage. It took me a few legs to settle in the game and once I found that rhythm I was good to go.”

World Darts Championship Semi-Finals Results

Rob Cross 2-6 Luke Littler
Scott Williams vs Luke Humphries

Littler was greeted by the Warrington Wolves’ mascot during an electrifying walk-on, but it was Cross who stormed out of the blocks and edged a quality set in a deciding leg with a 108.6 average.

It was the first time Littler had lost the first set in the tournament.

Littler showed no signs of nerves as he took out this majestic 142 checkout

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Littler showed no signs of nerves as he took out this majestic 142 checkout

Littler showed no signs of nerves as he took out this majestic 142 checkout

The teenager recovered from 2-1 down in the next set and a crucial 74 checkout in the deciding leg saw him draw level with a 101 average and four 180s.

Cross, the 2018 champion, appeared flummoxed by Littler’s incredible accuracy on the treble 20 bed and it wasn’t long before the 16-year-old moved ahead by cracking in a stunning 142 checkout before hitting the front with a 101.6 average.

The teenager nails an incredible 147 finish during his semi-final with Cross

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

The teenager nails an incredible 147 finish during his semi-final with Cross

The teenager nails an incredible 147 finish during his semi-final with Cross

Littler opened the fourth set with an 11-darter and he then struck with a mammoth 149 on double 16 to move 2-1 up in legs.

‘Voltage’ levelled and he then hit six perfect darts in the next leg, but it was the world youth champion who extended his lead with a magnificent 11-darter to move 3-1 ahead averaging 103.8 with nine 180s and 65 per cent on the doubles.

What an extraordinary leg! Cross nearly hits a nine but Littler wins it in 11 darts

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

What an extraordinary leg! Cross nearly hits a nine but Littler wins it in 11 darts

What an extraordinary leg! Cross nearly hits a nine but Littler wins it in 11 darts

Cross, who made a remarkable comeback from 4-0 down to beat Chris Dobey 5-4 in their quarter-final on Monday, pinned an unorthodox 138 checkout in the second leg of the fifth set.

Littler missed one set dart at tops to extend his lead, allowing former electrician Cross to pounce and close the gap to 3-2 in sets.

‘The Nuke’ wrapped up the sixth set 3-1 with a 107 average compared to Cross’ 91.58 to restore a two-set cushion with 14 maximums.

Littler had one foot in the final after closing out the seventh set by the same scoreline, averaging 110.55 for sets six and seven.

Littler was running riot at Ally Pally and he produced this outrageous 132 finish in the eighth set on his way to victory

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Littler was running riot at Ally Pally and he produced this outrageous 132 finish in the eighth set on his way to victory

Littler was running riot at Ally Pally and he produced this outrageous 132 finish in the eighth set on his way to victory

The teen star was showboating by now and he raised the roof with a 132 checkout by using the bullseye on his way to Wednesday’s final against three-time major champion Luke Humphries or Scott Williams.

Looking ahead to the final, Littler added: “I’ll do what I’ve been doing. In the morning, go for a ham and cheese omelette, then come here have a pizza and then practice. That’s what I’ve done every day.”

Littler got better the longer the match went on. In the last three sets (13 legs) he averaged 112.62

106.05 match average

12x 180s

47% doubles

Humphries produced a statement victory against ‘Shaggy’ Williams with a 108.74 average, 14 180s, a breath-taking display on the doubles and a sensational six ton-plus finishes.

“It was amazing. I would never have imagined myself to be the world No 1. That is a special feeling. And to do it in style,” said a delighted Humphries.

“I’m really pleased with that performance. But, world No 1 can last for a couple months, World Champion is forever so I’ve got a really tough task tomorrow against Luke.”

Luke Humphries is in scary form after he hit six-ton-plus finishes in his demolition against Scott Williams

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Luke Humphries is in scary form after he hit six-ton-plus finishes in his demolition against Scott Williams

Luke Humphries is in scary form after he hit six-ton-plus finishes in his demolition against Scott Williams

Live World Darts Championship

January 3, 2024, 7:30pm

Live on Sky Sports Arena

How social media reacted to Littler’s win…

The sport’s biggest event sees the final two players compete for the Sid Waddell Trophy and £2.5m in prize money at Alexandra Palace on Wednesday night. You can watch all the action live on our dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel.

Watch the World Darts Championship final on January 3, 2024 – live on Sky Sports Darts. Stream Sky Sports Darts without a contract through NOW



Source link

#Luke #Littler #reaches #World #Darts #Championship #final #beating #Rob #Cross #Alexandra #Palace

World Darts Championship: Michael van Gerwen suffers shock exit to Scott Williams in quarter-finals


Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

A look back the best of the action from the evening session of the World Darts Championship quarter-finals at Alexandra Palace

A look back the best of the action from the evening session of the World Darts Championship quarter-finals at Alexandra Palace

Michael van Gerwen’s hopes of a fourth World Darts Championship title were dashed in stunning fashion by Scott Williams at the quarter-final stage on New Year’s Day.

Williams pulled off a sensational 5-3 scalp of Van Gerwen at Alexandra Palace, punishing 27 missed darts at doubles from the three-time champion to set up a meeting with Luke Humphries.

World Darts Championship: New Year’s Day Evening Results

Michael van Gerwen 3-5 Scott Williams
Luke Humphries 5-1 Dave Chisnall

Rob Cross, only former PDC world champion left and in the semi-finals for the first time since winning the title on debut

Luke Littler, 16 years old, in the semi-finals on his debut

Scott Williams in his first major semi-final

Luke Humphries, the pre-tournament favourite, into his first Ally Pally semi-final

Seasonal prize money prior to the World Championship: £32,750

Minimum prize money at the World Championship: £100,000

Scott Williams is in to the semi-finals and the world’s top 32

Scott Williams produced one of the biggest shocks in World Darts Championship history by beating Michael van Gerwen in the quarter-finals

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Scott Williams produced one of the biggest shocks in World Darts Championship history by beating Michael van Gerwen in the quarter-finals

Scott Williams produced one of the biggest shocks in World Darts Championship history by beating Michael van Gerwen in the quarter-finals

Williams came charging out of the blocks by winning the opening set in straight legs, but ‘Mighty Mike’ took out 81 for back-to-back 11-darters to close out the second set 3-1 with a set average of 116.71 despite missing 12 darts at double.

Van Gerwen took out a magnificent 121 checkout before pinning double 16 to seize the initiative in the third set.

Van Gerwen hits this magnificent 121 finish during his quarter-final clash against Williams

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Van Gerwen hits this magnificent 121 finish during his quarter-final clash against Williams

Van Gerwen hits this magnificent 121 finish during his quarter-final clash against Williams

However, the Dutchman threw in a stinker of a set, averaging just 78, and Williams railroaded it 3-0 to get back on level terms at 2-2.

Van Gerwen appeared to have fallen off a cliff when Lincolnshire showman Williams made it six legs on the spin to lead 3-2, but the three-time World Champion soon restored parity in three consecutive legs to stop the rot.

‘Shaggy’ punished more crucial mistakes from the world No 2 to seal the seventh set 3-1 and go within one of a sensational victory before taking the eighth 3-1 to secure a last-four meeting with either Luke Humphries or Dave Chisnall.

Williams said he probably should have beaten Van Gerwen a bit easier after knocking out the pre-tournament favourite

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Williams said he probably should have beaten Van Gerwen a bit easier after knocking out the pre-tournament favourite

Williams said he probably should have beaten Van Gerwen a bit easier after knocking out the pre-tournament favourite

“I just knocked the best player in the world out,” Williams told Sky Sports.

“He wasn’t the Michael van Gerwen we’ve seen over the last couple of games but that’s not my problem.

“I hit the doubles and probably should have won it a little bit easier. I’m absolutely loving it up there. I love a crowd.”

Wayne Wardle was surprised at how 'erratic' Van Gerwen was during his loss

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Wayne Wardle was surprised at how ‘erratic’ Van Gerwen was during his loss

Wayne Wardle was surprised at how ‘erratic’ Van Gerwen was during his loss

Wayne Mardle called Williams’ win a “massive shock”, but also admitted he did a “number” on the Dutch ace.

“Michael van Gerwen normally loses to someone who is a big hitter already, a world champion or a major champion,” ‘Hawaii 501’ said.

“Scott Williams did a number on him. He was there to clean up when he had to clean up and he held it together so well.

“Even Luke Littler and Rob Cross are giving it… ‘WHAT!?’ What an opportunity for everyone left in the tournament.”

Michael van Gerwen missed 30 doubles in his first three games. He missed 27 against Scott Williams

52.4 per cent (33/63) – First 3 games

29.0 per cent (11/38) – vs Williams

Luke Humphries made it through to the semi-finals with this magical 117 checkout

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Luke Humphries made it through to the semi-finals with this magical 117 checkout

Luke Humphries made it through to the semi-finals with this magical 117 checkout

Williams will take on Humphries in the semi-finals after ‘Cool Hand’ thrashed Dave Chisnall 5-1 with a 103.50 average, a dozen 180s, 40 per cent on the doubles and a high checkout of 164.

The World Grand Prix, Grand Slam of Darts and Players Championship winner made it 17 victories in a row to break new ground at Ally Pally.

“It felt strange to be the frontrunner for once,” said Humphries. “I have been used to a lot of comebacks for the last few days and it has just been nice to be me.

“It was nice to be in front and keep pushing hard and I didn’t relent. Chizzy played really well, he made it really tough for me.

“I haven’t been myself in the first couple of games. Tonight, we saw the form I have been showing in the last few majors.

“I played as well as I needed to.”

Humphries thinks the Worlds is wide open after Van Gerwen's exit to Williams

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Humphries thinks the Worlds is wide open after Van Gerwen’s exit to Williams

Humphries thinks the Worlds is wide open after Van Gerwen’s exit to Williams

How Littler set up Cross semi-final…

A look back the best of the action from the afternoon session of the World Darts Championship quarter-finals

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

A look back the best of the action from the afternoon session of the World Darts Championship quarter-finals

A look back the best of the action from the afternoon session of the World Darts Championship quarter-finals

World Darts Championship: New Year’s Day Afternoon Results

Rob Cross 5-4 Chris Dobey
Luke Littler 5-1 Brendan Dolan

In the afternoon, Luke Littler’s amazing Alexandra Palace journey continued after he became the youngest semi-finalist ever after he beat Brendan Dolan 5-1 in the quarter-final.

‘The History Maker’ Dolan had beaten former World Champions Gerwyn Price and Gary Anderson but could not compete with Littler, who finished with an average of 101.93 to thrill his adoring fans inside Ally Pally.

All the best moments from Luke Littler in his quarter-final clash against Brendon Dolan

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

All the best moments from Luke Littler in his quarter-final clash against Brendon Dolan

All the best moments from Luke Littler in his quarter-final clash against Brendon Dolan

“It feels unbelievable. I would never have thought I would have got to the semis on my debut year,” he said.

“Brendan was just another opponent in my way and I have brushed him aside and now I am into the semi-final.

“It’s going to take a lot to stop me, based on my performances so far. But it is about whatever Luke Littler turns up.

“I have got the ability to go all the way, if it’s not to be tomorrow night, it’s not to be.

“I know I have got a good chance and I have got a good feeling I could go all the way tomorrow.”

Littler believes he is one of the best in the game at board management and he's thinking about lifting the title

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Littler believes he is one of the best in the game at board management and he’s thinking about lifting the title

Littler believes he is one of the best in the game at board management and he’s thinking about lifting the title

He will meet Rob Cross for a spot in the final after ‘Voltage’ looked dead and buried when he was 4-0 down after barely 45 minutes as Chris Dobey played one of the matches of his life.

However, the off-stage break worked wonders for Cross as the former electrician sparked into life.

He reeled off four sets of his own and then took out 130 to seal a remarkable win but he will have to improve if he is stop the Littler train.

“Everyone loves an underdog story,” he said. “As the public and people looking at the game, everyone loves an underdog story.

“I am not being rude, I am on his side, I love an underdog story.

“It took a bit of pressure off me winning it first time as well.

“He’s fantastic and he deserves all the luck in the world, he is a nice young boy. Tomorrow we play darts, though, and I have to go down to business.”

Cross came back from 4-0 down to Chris Dobey to complete a 'darting miracle!'

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Cross came back from 4-0 down to Chris Dobey to complete a ‘darting miracle!’

Cross came back from 4-0 down to Chris Dobey to complete a ‘darting miracle!’

The teenager was taking selfies after beating Brendan Dolan

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

The teenager was taking selfies after beating Brendan Dolan

The teenager was taking selfies after beating Brendan Dolan

What’s happening on semi-finals night at the World Darts Championship?

Luke Littler returns to the Ally Pally stage when he aims for a spot in the World Championship final

Luke Littler returns to the Ally Pally stage when he aims for a spot in the World Championship final

Littler will take on 2018 winner Cross in the first semi-final having already proven he is ready to compete on the biggest stage after taking out UK Open winner Andrew Gilding and his hero Raymond van Barneveld on his way to the last eight and he maintained that form against Dolan on New Year’s Day.

Cross produced one of the most memorable Alexandra Palace comebacks having gone 4-0 to Chris Dobey before reeling off four sets of his own and then taking out 130 to seal a famous win.

Live World Darts Championship

January 1, 2024, 7:00pm

Live on Sky Sports Arena

Luke Humphries will face Scott Williams in the second semi-final on Tuesday

Luke Humphries will face Scott Williams in the second semi-final on Tuesday

Having knocked out three-time World Champion Michael van Gerwen, ‘Shaggy’ Scott Williams will take on ‘Cool Hand’ Luke Humphries as he continues his quest for a maiden Ally Pally title.

Humphries came into the tournament as the favourite after winning three of the last four majors but had endured a bumpy ride to the last eight, surviving a sudden death leg against Joe Cullen in the last round.

But he was back to his best in his quarter-final, dispatching Dave Chisnall 5-1.

The sport’s biggest event sees the remaining players compete for the Sid Waddell Trophy and £2.5m in prize money at Alexandra Palace. You can watch all the action live on our dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel.

Watch the World Darts Championship all the way until the final on January 3, 2024 – live on Sky Sports Darts. Stream Sky Sports Darts without a contract through NOW



Source link

#World #Darts #Championship #Michael #van #Gerwen #suffers #shock #exit #Scott #Williams #quarterfinals

World Darts Championship: Michael Smith is dethroned by Chris Dobey as Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson win

Michael Smith dethroned by Chris Dobey as Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson both win; The World Darts Championship runs all the way until the final on January 3, 2024 – we’re back on Saturday at 12.30pm, live on Sky Sports Darts

Last Updated: 30/12/23 1:00am


Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

A look back the best of the action from the evening session of Day 12 of the World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace

A look back the best of the action from the evening session of Day 12 of the World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace

Michael Smith’s reign as World Darts Champion came to an end with an emphatic 4-0 whitewash at the hands of Chris Dobey on Friday night at Alexandra Palace.

Smith, who claimed the Sid Waddell Trophy for the first time in January, was humbled by ‘Hollywood’ with a 102.5 average and three ton-plus checkouts to claim a huge win.

World Darts Championship: Friday Evening Results

Boris Krcmar 1-4 Gary Anderson (R3)
Michael van Gerwen 4-0 Stephen Bunting (R4)
Michael Smith 0-4 Chris Dobey (R4)

Dobey dumped out Smith after producing an exceptional performance on the Ally Pally stage

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Dobey dumped out Smith after producing an exceptional performance on the Ally Pally stage

Dobey dumped out Smith after producing an exceptional performance on the Ally Pally stage

Dobey signalled his intent with a stunning 130 checkout to kick off proceedings, and after wrapping up set one, he doubled his lead after Smith missed a dart at tops to level the contest.

The Bedlington star then moved a set away from glory with clinical 100 and 87 combinations, before Smith struck back with a magnificent 140 finish to open set four.

However, Dobey was unfazed, following up a 14-dart break with back-to-back 12-darters to cap off another imperious display.

Watch all Dobey's ton-plus finishes from his superb win over Smith

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Watch all Dobey’s ton-plus finishes from his superb win over Smith

Watch all Dobey’s ton-plus finishes from his superb win over Smith

“Michael is a great lad. I’ve got all the time in the world for him, but there could only be one winner and I’m pleased it was my night tonight,” said Dobey.

“I don’t think anybody underestimates me; they know what I can do. I’ve been pretty consistent in this competition, and I’m going all out. I want to be the champion.”

Michael van Gerwen was in bullish mood ahead of his quarter-final clash against either Scott Williams or Damon Heta after thumping Stephen Bunting

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Michael van Gerwen was in bullish mood ahead of his quarter-final clash against either Scott Williams or Damon Heta after thumping Stephen Bunting

Michael van Gerwen was in bullish mood ahead of his quarter-final clash against either Scott Williams or Damon Heta after thumping Stephen Bunting

Three-time World Champion Michael van Gerwen whitewashed Stephen Bunting 4-0 with a 99.8 average and nine 180s to become the first man through to the quarter-finals.

The Dutchman has won all 11 sets he played so far in the tournament and 33 out of 45 legs with Damon Heta or Scott Williams set to challenge him in the quarter-finals next.

“There was definitely fire in the belly. We all know what Stephen Bunting can do. You have to show your best game,” said Van Gerwen.

It wasn't vintage, but Gary Anderson ddid more than enough to defeat Boris Krcmar and make the last 16 of the Worlds

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

It wasn’t vintage, but Gary Anderson ddid more than enough to defeat Boris Krcmar and make the last 16 of the Worlds

It wasn’t vintage, but Gary Anderson ddid more than enough to defeat Boris Krcmar and make the last 16 of the Worlds

Two-time World Champion Gary Anderson put on a convincing display as the Scot proved too strong for Boris Krcmar with a 4-1 demolition job.

‘The Flying Scotsman’ put on the afterburners after losing the first set by winning 12 out of next 16 legs with a 99.3 average and nine 180s to set up a meeting against Brendan Dolan.

“When Boris won the first set I thought this was going to be a struggle,” admitted the 53-year-old.

“I got it back to 1-1 and the next two sets, the third set was tight but fourth set comfortable. The last set, I kind of had him.”

World Darts Championship: Friday Afternoon Results

Damon Heta 4-3 Berry van Peer (R3)
Jonny Clayton 4-2 Krzysztof Ratajski (R3)
Jim Williams 1-4 Raymond van Barneveld (R3)

Raymond van Barneveld says he's not worried about facing anyone including Luke Littler and believes he has the form to beat him

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Raymond van Barneveld says he’s not worried about facing anyone including Luke Littler and believes he has the form to beat him

Raymond van Barneveld says he’s not worried about facing anyone including Luke Littler and believes he has the form to beat him

Raymond van Barneveld set up a mouth-watering clash with teenage sensation Luke Littler after fighting through to the last 16 of the Worlds.

Van Barneveld was far from at his best but still beat Jim Williams 4-1 to secure a Saturday clash with 16-year-old Littler, who was born 21 days after the Dutchman won the most recent of his five world titles in 2007.

Van Barneveld told Sky Sports: “I will love to play Luke Littler. When I was 16 I was playing with Lego and Playmobile, we didn’t have the internet or whatever.

“This guy is amazing, and I am looking forward so much to that game. He is a quality player and I can’t wait to meet him tomorrow night.”

Ahead of their last-16 meeting at the Alexandra Palace, Littler proves he's always been a fan of Van Barneveld! Credit:@LukeTheNuke180

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Ahead of their last-16 meeting at the Alexandra Palace, Littler proves he’s always been a fan of Van Barneveld! Credit:@LukeTheNuke180

Ahead of their last-16 meeting at the Alexandra Palace, Littler proves he’s always been a fan of Van Barneveld! Credit:@LukeTheNuke180

Littler, the world youth champion, is the youngest player to reach the last 16 after reeling off three impressive victories, including averaging over 106 in his first round win over Christian Kist.

Jonny Clayton joined Van Barneveld in the last 16 as he saw off Poland’s Krzysztof Ratajski 4-2, while Australia’s Damon Heta edged to a 4-3 win over Dutchman Berry van Peer.

Damon Heta sealed a stunning 4-3 victory over Berry van Peer by taking out this epic 151 checkout

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Damon Heta sealed a stunning 4-3 victory over Berry van Peer by taking out this epic 151 checkout

Damon Heta sealed a stunning 4-3 victory over Berry van Peer by taking out this epic 151 checkout

What’s happening on Saturday at the World Darts Championship?

Raymond van Barneveld says he's not worried about facing anyone including Luke Littler and believes he has the form to beat him

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Raymond van Barneveld says he’s not worried about facing anyone including Luke Littler and believes he has the form to beat him

Raymond van Barneveld says he’s not worried about facing anyone including Luke Littler and believes he has the form to beat him

The fourth round will conclude with Scott Williams and Dave Chisnall in action, while 2018 World Champion Rob Cross takes on ‘The Ferret’ Jonny Clayton.

Live World Darts Championship

December 30, 2023, 12:30pm

Live on Sky Sports Arena

World Darts Championship: Saturday Afternoon Fixtures

Scott Williams vs Damon Heta
Daryl Gurney vs Dave Chisnall
Rob Cross vs Jonny Clayton

On Saturday evening, five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld faces teenage sensation Luke Littler with Luke Humphries up against ‘The Rockstar’ Joe Cullen.

The quarter-finals, semi-finals and final take place from January 1-3.

Live World Darts Championship

December 30, 2023, 7:30pm

Live on Sky Sports Arena

World Darts Championship: Saturday Evening Fixtures

Brendan Dolan vs Gary Anderson
Raymond van Barneveld vs Luke Littler
Luke Humphries vs Joe Cullen

The sport’s biggest event sees the remaining players compete for the Sid Waddell Trophy and £2.5m in prize money at Alexandra Palace. You can watch all the action live on our dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel.

Watch the World Darts Championship all the way until the final on January 3, 2024 – live on Sky Sports Darts. NOW Sports Month Membership: £21 a month for 6 months



Source link

#World #Darts #Championship #Michael #Smith #dethroned #Chris #Dobey #Michael #van #Gerwen #Gary #Anderson #win

World Darts Championship: Nathan Aspinall and Josh Rock suffer shock early exits at Alexandra Palace

Ricky Evans stuns Nathan Aspinall, while Josh Rock is knocked out by Berry van Peer; the World Darts Championship runs all the way until the final on January 3, 2024 – we’re back on Wednesday 27 at 12.30pm, live on Sky Sports Darts

Last Updated: 23/12/23 11:07pm


Ricky Evans stunned World Matchplay champion Nathan Aspinall at the World Darts Championship

Ricky Evans produced the upset of the World Darts Championship by crushing World Matchplay champion Nathan Aspinall in straight sets on Saturday night.

Evans averaged close to 100 in annihilating Aspinall 3-0, while Josh Rock saw his hopes go up in smoke as the youngster suffered a shock second-round exit to Dutch debutant Berry van Peer.

World Darts Championship: Saturday Evening Results

Ryan Searle 3-1 Tomoya Goto (R2)
Josh Rock 1-3 Berry van Peer (R2)
Stephen Bunting 3-0 Ryan Joyce (R2)
Nathan Aspinall 0-3 Ricky Evans (R2)

 Evans got the Ally Pally crowd into the festive spirit by walking on with the Christmas hit 'Merry Christmas Everyone' by Shakin' Stevens

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Evans got the Ally Pally crowd into the festive spirit by walking on with the Christmas hit ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ by Shakin’ Stevens

Evans got the Ally Pally crowd into the festive spirit by walking on with the Christmas hit ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ by Shakin’ Stevens

Aspinall became the 11th seeded player to exit the Worlds at the hands of ‘Rapid’ Ricky.

Following his traditional festive walk-on, Evans secured the first break of throw for a 2-1 lead, and he pinned double 10 to seal an impressive opening set before storming to a sixth leg on the spin to double his lead with a 104 checkout to leave Aspinall on the brink of an early exit.

Evans ended up losing just two legs in the contest, and averaged 99.38 with a 60 per cent checkout success to go through.

Berry van Peer stunned Josh Rock in the second round of the World Darts Championship

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Berry van Peer stunned Josh Rock in the second round of the World Darts Championship

Berry van Peer stunned Josh Rock in the second round of the World Darts Championship

Former world youth champion, Rock, went down 3-1 to the world No 107 Van Peer.

Rock was punished for six missed darts at doubles as Van Peer clinched the first set 3-1 despite an average of 84.

The Northern Ireland thrower then fired in a 107 checkout to force a second set decider, but Van Peer replied with a sensational 121 for a 12-darter to move within a set of a major upset.

Van Peer landed this epic 121 checkout en route to a famous victory against Rock

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Van Peer landed this epic 121 checkout en route to a famous victory against Rock

Van Peer landed this epic 121 checkout en route to a famous victory against Rock

However, 22-year-old Rock showed pure class to produce finishes of 101, 112 and 82 with Van Peer failing to land two match darts in the third set decider to halve the deficit.

But the debutant, who has racked up four Challenge Tour titles over the last 12 months, set up a clash with Damon Heta by taking out 48 to finish off 23rd seed Rock and continue his dream run.

Bunting praises the crowd after crushing Ryan Joyce 3-0 in a stunning performance

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Bunting praises the crowd after crushing Ryan Joyce 3-0 in a stunning performance

Bunting praises the crowd after crushing Ryan Joyce 3-0 in a stunning performance

Stephen Bunting put on a show with a magnificent 107.28 average – the highest of the tournament – five maximums and 9/19 on the doubles as he put Ryan Joyce to the sword in a whitewash victory.

“I’m so happy to play like that and show my potential,” said the former Lakeside champion, who faces German Florian Hempel next. “I’ve come here with a lot of confidence from my last two events, but I’ve played nowhere near like that.

“I’m a bit speechless, but I can enjoy Christmas now, go home, regroup and get ready for the next game.”

Stephen Bunting conducted the crowd during his entrance song 'Titanium' by David Guetta feat. Sia

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Stephen Bunting conducted the crowd during his entrance song ‘Titanium’ by David Guetta feat. Sia

Stephen Bunting conducted the crowd during his entrance song ‘Titanium’ by David Guetta feat. Sia

Ryan Searle overcame Tomoyo Goto 3-1 as he set up a mouth-watering meeting with Joe Cullen

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Ryan Searle overcame Tomoyo Goto 3-1 as he set up a mouth-watering meeting with Joe Cullen

Ryan Searle overcame Tomoyo Goto 3-1 as he set up a mouth-watering meeting with Joe Cullen

Ryan Searle set up an intriguing meeting with Joe Cullen after making it through to the last 32 for the sixth year running.

‘Heavy Metal’ hammered in four 180s and a spectacular ‘Shanghai’ 120 finish in his 3-1 victory against a gutsy Tomoyo Goto from Japan.

“I got there in the end. I was throwing back stage and thought I was going to come out and break some records…but it didn’t quite happen,” revealed Searle. “I got over the line, can enjoy my Christmas now, and I’ll be back.”

World Darts Championship: Saturday Afternoon Results

Kim Huybrechts 0-3 Richard Veenstra (R2)
Callan Rydz 2-3 Ricardo Pietreczko (R2)
Jonny Clayton 3-1 Steve Lennon (R2)
Daryl Gurney 3-1 Steve Beaton (R2)

Two-time quarter-finalist Daryl Gurney produced consecutive ton-plus checkouts to clinch a 3-1 win over Steve Beaton in the afternoon session, while there were also victories for Jonny Clayton, Ricardo Pietreczko and Richard Veenstra.

Gurney pinned successive checkouts of 132 and 136 to defeat Beaton 3-1 and end the hopes of ‘The Bronzed Adonis’.

‘SuperChin’ averaged 100.79, winning seven of the first eight legs before Beaton – who has announced his intention to walk away from the sport following the 2024 season – rallied, taking the third set after his opponent had missed a match dart on double 19 attempting a 155 checkout.

Daryl Gurney nailed two massive checkouts against Steve Beaton, including a 136 finish to win the match

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Daryl Gurney nailed two massive checkouts against Steve Beaton, including a 136 finish to win the match

Daryl Gurney nailed two massive checkouts against Steve Beaton, including a 136 finish to win the match

Beaton, 59, had the throw in the fourth set but it was Gurney who closed it out to set up a post-Christmas meeting with Evans.

Earlier on, ninth seed Clayton won a match of ample missed doubles, defeating Steve Lennon 3-1 – Clayton’s doubling success was only 28 per cent but Lennon, who is now in danger of losing his Tour Card, was way worse on 15 per cent, squandering 34 darts out of 40.

Ricardo Pietreczko and Callan Rydz exchanged some big finishes during their clash

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Ricardo Pietreczko and Callan Rydz exchanged some big finishes during their clash

Ricardo Pietreczko and Callan Rydz exchanged some big finishes during their clash

Elsewhere, ‘Pikachu’ Pietreczko pipped the seeded Callan Rydz 3-2, while the session began with Veenstra sweeping 2012 quarter-finalist Kim Huybrechts 3-0 in sets and 9-0 in legs as he set up a showdown with fellow Dutchman Michael van Gerwen.

Clayton will face ‘The Polish Eagle’ Krzysztof Ratajski after the festive break, while German star Pietreczko plays title favourite Luke Humphries.

Richard Veenstra thrashed Kim Huybrechts without dropping a single leg

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Richard Veenstra thrashed Kim Huybrechts without dropping a single leg

Richard Veenstra thrashed Kim Huybrechts without dropping a single leg

What’s happening after Christmas at the World Darts Championship?

Teenage sensation Luke Littler is back in action on Wednesday night when he takes on Canadian Matt Campbell with three-time world champion Michael van Gerwen and reigning champion Michael Smith also playing on a bumper evening.

World Darts Championship: Wednesday Afternoon Fixtures

Scott Williams vs Martin Schindler (R3)
Dave Chisnall vs Gabriel Clemens (R3)
Rob Cross vs Jeffrey de Graaf (R3)

Elsewhere, 2018 champion Rob Cross, Scott Williams and last year’s semi-finalist Gabriel Clemens will be among the high-profile names taking to the stage in the afternoon.

World Darts Championship: Wednesday Evening Fixtures

Matt Campbell vs Luke Littler (R3)
Michael van Gerwen vs Richard Veenstra (R3)
Michael Smith vs Madars Razma (R3)

The sport’s biggest event sees 96 players compete for the Sid Waddell Trophy and £2.5m in prize money at Alexandra Palace. You can watch all the action live on our dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel.

Watch the World Darts Championship all the way until the final on January 3, 2024 – live on Sky Sports Darts. NOW Sports Month Membership: £21 a month for 6 months



Source link

#World #Darts #Championship #Nathan #Aspinall #Josh #Rock #suffer #shock #early #exits #Alexandra #Palace

World Darts Championship: Teenager Luke Littler defeats Andrew Gilding to continue dream run at Alexandra Palace

Teenager Luke Littler makes it through to the third round after knocking out the experienced Andrew Gilding; the World Darts Championship runs all the way until the final on January 3, 2024 – we’re back on Friday at 12.30pm, live on Sky Sports Darts

Last Updated: 22/12/23 12:42am


Luke Littler continued his dream run at Alexandra Palace after recording a second win in as many days

Teenage sensation Luke Littler made it through to the third round of the World Darts Championship on his debut following a 3-1 win over UK Open champion Andrew Gilding on Thursday night.

The 16-year-old, who averaged an astonishing 106.12 in his demolition of former Lakeside Champion Christian Kist in the first round, continued his dream run on the Alexandra Palace stage by upsetting the experienced Gilding.

World Darts Championship: Thursday Evening Results

Andrew Gilding 1-3 Luke Littler (R2)
Danny Noppert 0-3 Scott Williams (R2)
Gabriel Clemens 3-1 Man Lok Leung (R2)
Damon Heta 3-1 Martin Lukeman (R2)

Littler was born in Runcorn, Cheshire, on January 21, 2007 and began playing darts aged nine.

He won the England Youth Grand Prix in 2019 and began to rack up tournament wins.

He became England Youth Open champion in 2021 and won his first senior title at the Irish Open later that year.

In 2022 he won the Welsh Open and this year notched further senior titles at the Isle of Man Classic, Gibraltar Open, British Open and British Classic.

The 16-year-old is a back-to-back JDC World Champion and reigning World Youth Champion. He doesn’t turn 17 until January 21.

Gilding nailed this 130 on the bullseye but still lost the opening set

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Gilding nailed this 130 on the bullseye but still lost the opening set

Gilding nailed this 130 on the bullseye but still lost the opening set

Gilding produced a stunning 130 checkout to level up the first set but Littler sealed it in the decider thanks to a 13-darter, averaging 101.36 with 75 per cent on the doubles.

Littler could not hold back his emotions after winning the second set

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Littler could not hold back his emotions after winning the second set

Littler could not hold back his emotions after winning the second set

‘Goldfinger’ then squandered a pair of set darts to make it all-square with World Youth Championship Littler taking full advantage by landing double 16 with his last dart in hand to double his advantage.

The 16-year-old continued his dream run at Alexandra Palace after upsetting Gilding

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

The 16-year-old continued his dream run at Alexandra Palace after upsetting Gilding

The 16-year-old continued his dream run at Alexandra Palace after upsetting Gilding

However, 53-year-old Gilding reeled off a hat-trick of legs to halve the deficit as the doubles evaded ‘The Nuke’.

But the fearless Littler continued his remarkable run at the tournament by winning the fourth set 3-1 as he pinned double 10 to set up a meeting with Canadian Matt Campbell after Christmas.

Littler plans to celebrate his sensational win over Gilding with another kebab!

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Littler plans to celebrate his sensational win over Gilding with another kebab!

Littler plans to celebrate his sensational win over Gilding with another kebab!

“I think when I went two up I gave it a bit and lost all my energy,” Littler told Sky Sports. “I was nervous as it is, I don’t know how I got over the line but I’ve done it.

“I said to myself this morning, but when I went 2-0 up I just put loads of pressure on my shoulders. But I’ve done it.”

Scott Williams was 'gutted' about missing out on a nine-darter but was happy with his win

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Scott Williams was ‘gutted’ about missing out on a nine-darter but was happy with his win

Scott Williams was ‘gutted’ about missing out on a nine-darter but was happy with his win

Scott Williams came agonisingly close to an unorthodox nine-dart finish as he sealed a superb straight-sets win over seventh seed Danny Noppert.

Despite an opening 170 salvo from Dutchman Noppert, it was Williams who stormed into a 2-0 lead, and after taking first leg of the third set, ‘Shaggy’ struck six perfect darts before hitting treble 16, treble 19 but then landing his ninth dart millimetres below double 18 for what would have been the first perfect leg of this year’s tournament.

'Shaggy' just missed out on a nine-darter after just clipping the wire during his win against Danny Noppert

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

‘Shaggy’ just missed out on a nine-darter after just clipping the wire during his win against Danny Noppert

‘Shaggy’ just missed out on a nine-darter after just clipping the wire during his win against Danny Noppert

Williams, ranked 52nd in the world, didn’t let it affect him, though, as he completed a 12-dart leg and he soon wrapped up the biggest win of his career with a neat 80 checkout.

Gabriel Clemens pulled this 140 checkout out the bag en route to victory against Man Lok Leung

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Gabriel Clemens pulled this 140 checkout out the bag en route to victory against Man Lok Leung

Gabriel Clemens pulled this 140 checkout out the bag en route to victory against Man Lok Leung

Last year’s semi-finalist Gabriel Clemens sealed a 3-1 success over tricky Man Lok Leung with 53 per cent on the doubles and three ton-plus finishes (140, 120, 120) to set up a last-32 tie against Dave Chisnall.

Australian No 1 Damon Heta breezed past Martin Lukeman with a comprehensive display to send out a warning to his rivals.

Damon Heta brings 'The Heat' in a bizarre walk-on for his clash against Martin Lukeman

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Damon Heta brings ‘The Heat’ in a bizarre walk-on for his clash against Martin Lukeman

Damon Heta brings ‘The Heat’ in a bizarre walk-on for his clash against Martin Lukeman

‘The Heat’ took out 68 in the deciding leg to edge the opener and he steamrolled the second in three unanswered legs to double his lead.

Lukeman upped his averages to win the third and halve his deficit, but Heta quickly took control of the fourth set with two breaks to complete a 3-1 win.

 Cross says 16-year-old debutant Littler had no fear after his first-round victory against Christian Kist

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Cross says 16-year-old debutant Littler had no fear after his first-round victory against Christian Kist

Cross says 16-year-old debutant Littler had no fear after his first-round victory against Christian Kist

Former champion Cross up and running at Ally Pally

World Darts Championship: Thursday Afternoon Results

Mickey Mansell 3-0 Xiaochen Zong (R1)
Luke Woodhouse 2-3 Berry van Peer (R1)
Madars Razma 3-1 Mike De Decker (R2)
Rob Cross 3-0 Thibault Tricole (R2)

Former World Champion Rob Cross got campaign off to a winning start in a comfortable victory against Frenchman Thibault Tricole in Thursday afternoon’s session.

The 2018 champion, who has not progressed beyond the last-16 since his historic title victory against Phil Taylor in his debut year, took out a finish of 114 to secure the second set, having trailed his opponent by two legs initially, and then went even better with a 126 checkout en route to winning the final six legs.

Rob Cross admits he wasn't at his best, despite coming through his second-round clash with Thibault Tricole

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Rob Cross admits he wasn’t at his best, despite coming through his second-round clash with Thibault Tricole

Rob Cross admits he wasn’t at his best, despite coming through his second-round clash with Thibault Tricole

But while one Englishman progressed, another dropped out as Luke Woodhouse finished on the wrong side of a 3-2 thriller against Berry van Peer.

The Dutch debutant suffered two bruised ribs after falling down the stairs and almost couldn’t practice ahead of his clash with ‘Woody’.

Luke Woodhouse and Berry van Peer traded blows with clinical checkouts in their thrilling encounter

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Luke Woodhouse and Berry van Peer traded blows with clinical checkouts in their thrilling encounter

Luke Woodhouse and Berry van Peer traded blows with clinical checkouts in their thrilling encounter

Madars Razma, meanwhile, also impressed in his second-round match against Mike De Decker. The Latvian triumphed 3-1 to set up a post-Christmas clash with reigning champion Michael Smith.

Mickey Mansell had opened the day with what in the end proved a comfortable 3-0 win over Xiaochen Zong in the other remaining first round tie.

Steve Beaton hopes to qualify for the World Championship next year and get the chance to step down on the biggest stage of all

Steve Beaton hopes to qualify for the World Championship next year and get the chance to step down on the biggest stage of all

In other news, Steve Beaton has confirmed his decision to retire from the PDC circuit at the end of next season.

“My full focus will be of course playing my best darts in 2024 in the PDC, and in 2025 I will be playing the World Seniors Darts Tour, which after turning 60 next April probably will suit me better,” said ‘The Bronzed Adonis’.

What’s happening on Friday at the World Darts Championship?

Dutch legend Raymond van Barneveld headlines the action on Friday at Alexandra Palace

Dutch legend Raymond van Barneveld headlines the action on Friday at Alexandra Palace

Five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld, Chris Dobey and Dirk van Duijvenbode headline the action at Alexandra Palace.

Live World Darts Championship

December 22, 2023, 12:30pm

Live on Sky Sports Main Event

World Darts Championship: Friday Afternoon Fixtures

Brendan Dolan vs Mickey Mansell (R2)
Jose de Sousa vs Jeffrey de Graaf (R2)
Krzysztof Ratajski vs Jamie Hughes (R2)
Dirk van Duijvenbode vs Boris Krcmar (R2)

Elsewhere, Jose de Sousa, Krzysztof Ratajski, Brendan Dolan and Dimitri Van den Bergh will be among the high-profile names in action.

Live World Darts Championship

December 22, 2023, 7:00pm

Live on Sky Sports Arena

World Darts Championship: Friday Evening Fixtures

Dimitri Van den Bergh vs Florian Hempel (R2)
Martin Schindler vs Jermaine Wattimena (R2)
Raymond van Barneveld vs Radek Szaganski (R2)
Chris Dobey vs William O’Connor (R2)

The sport’s biggest event sees 96 players compete for the Sid Waddell Trophy and £2.5m in prize money at Alexandra Palace. You can watch all the action live on our dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel.

Watch the World Darts Championship all the way until the final on January 3, 2024 – live on Sky Sports Darts. NOW Sports Month Membership: £21 a month for 6 months



Source link

#World #Darts #Championship #Teenager #Luke #Littler #defeats #Andrew #Gilding #continue #dream #run #Alexandra #Palace