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In what might be the last major darts gathering, for quite sometime, The Isle of Man festival took place recently, in Douglas. The longstanding event was held under the auspices of England Darts and the WDF.
Fallon Sherrock enjoyed a phenomenal weekend at the Isle of Man Darts Festival, claiming the three singles titles and the ladies pairs event, Beau Greaves was defeated in all four finals. After her efforts at the (PDC) World Championship, Premier League and appearance at the UK Open, Sherrock has returned to BDO events. The experience and efforts with the PDC have clearly boosted her.
The 25-year-old picked up the Isle of Man Classic (4-2), Open (4-2) and Masters (4-3), while also winning the ladies’ pairs with Casey Gallagher (3-2). Teenager Greaves was runner-up in all the three singles events, and with Deta Hedman in the pairs event.
The Men’s events were taken by Thibault Tricole and Micheal Warburton respectively. Warburton defeated a resurgent Martin Adams in the final of the Open.
Luke Littler claimed the youth title overcoming Charlie Manby in the trophy match.
Former hairdresser Sherrock took to social media after the phenomenal weekend: ‘Ecstatic feeling today having won all 3 singles events and the pairs, full credit to Beau Greaves for her performances as well.’
Sherrock will rise to second in the BDO rankings, behind Greaves, and third within the WDF. The Queen of the Palace wil be back in PDC action in the World Series events, starting with the US Darts Masters on 5 June in New York and going to Copenhagen the following week.
A gap before the New South Wales Darts Masters, NZ Darts Masters and Queensland Darts Masters, all played in August, all of which will be shown on ITV4.
Fallon will play these events, however this will mean that she will miss any BDO events that are held, this will include the World Trophy, which co-insides with the competition in Queensland.
The WDF 2020 ranking tables have been updated to show resulted after the recent Dutch Open. Aileen de Graff placed at number one, edging out Lisa Ashton who is concentrating on the PDC after gaining her Tour Card in January:
Romanian Darts Festival 2020 was a success. Conclusions of the 5th edition of one of the most important WDF 2020 start of the season weekends Bucharest, January 28th 2020.
The 5th edition of the Romanian Darts Festival came to an end after three days dedicated to the sport with arrows, where about 400 players have measured their forces at Hotel Intercontinental Bucharest, battling for more than 18,000 euro in prize money, and for winning their first SILVER WDF points of the season.
For the first time in an WDF event, the innovative DartConnect system was used for all 40 official dartboards. Players and fans both enjoyed our initiative – players for following their stats, fans for watching simultaneously all the games they were interested in. Based on our experience this weekend, we believe DartConnect is the next step forward.
Number 1 seed Wayne Warren, the recent BDO World Champion, showed his impressive form winning the Romanian Classic, with a victory in the final 6-3 against a very inspired Catalonian Marti Santamaria. Number 2 seed, Nick Kenny, made the Welsh proud by winning the Romanian International, with a win against the biggest surprise of the weekend, Laszlo Kadar, the first Romanian qualified in a WDF final. The Romanian showed an excellent form, beating on his way to the final Anthony Allen and Wayne Halliwell.
In the Ladies competitions, winners were Amanda Harwood who won RCDO title after a 5-1 victory in the final against Marjolein Noijens, and Deta Hedman who won RIDO title after a 5-2 victory in the final against Anca Zijlstra.
The atmosphere in the finals day was electric, attendants had a wonderful time with both the gamesand the party. We really hope you all enjoyed yourselves, enjoyed our tournament and these will make you comeback to our festival next year.
Chatting with our resident coach the other day, I was struck by a view he ventured as to the development and improvement of players. ‘The Coach‘ has noted that many players who can play within more than one code, or division of darts, do not seem to benefit from playing multiple formats. This may well be a problem for the current generation of female stars.
Could Lisa Ashton, and some of the other women players, be at the point where dividing their time (or commitment), together with mixing the standard of opposition, is acting more as a hurdle than a benefit? If so, is it time to decide on their ambitions and focus on them in a more single-minded way?
Ashton, for example, has performed extremely well, within the PDC structure, since dipping a toe in the water in 2018/19. However, she does seem to have hit a plateau which may have affected her dominance of the women’s game. Might ‘The Lancashire Rose’, who is 49, be better off maximising her potential and earning power over shorter formats and familiar opposition in the women’s game? On the other hand she has shown tremendous ability and may well be capable of improving to another level if she were able to give 100% of her time and effort to the longer formats and tougher days of the PDC tours.
For players of the a younger generation, such as Fallon Sherrock, it may be that the decision is taken out of their hands. The opportunities already given to Fallon, mean that she will be playing PDC events for part of next year regardless. Sherrock’s decision to opt out of a devalued BDO Women’s World Championship may be the start of things to come.
Beau Greaves may carry an entirely different batton, at sixteen years old she is capable of achieving almost anything in darts. If allowed to develop at her own pace, and across codes and divides, she may well be part of the first generation to play a truly mixed sport on a level playing field.
Ashton, along with players like Deta Hedman and Anastasia, has carved out a new path for female players.
It could be that in choosing to dedicate herself to ‘Open darts’, and forsake the Womens’ Game, she may take another giant step along it. But is it s step too far?
Another of our 10 players of the decade. It is a pleasure to include a female player with no fear that it may be considered tokenism. The Lancashire Rose has knocked down many doors already and I don’t believe she has finished yet:
With the recent, much deserved, attention given to Mikuru Suzuki, and Fallon Sherrock, there is a danger that the huge contribution of Lisa Ashton may be overshadowed.
During the 2010s the four-time World Champion cranked up her performances and captured every title available to her, time and time again. ‘The Lancashire Rose’ seems to have at least a hattrick of every major event. This was achieved against a backdrop of rising standards and a broadening of women’s darts.
Instead of only a few high-quality players, as had been the case in previous decades, there were more and more as the decade progressed. Veteran stars such as Deta Hedman seemed to improve and consolidate while new youngsters like Sherrock and Zoe Jones came through. Ashton still dominated.
The forty-nine-year-old English thrower had risen to prominence at the end of the previous decade and claimed her first notable title in 2008. She seemed to really step up a gear in 2011, claiming first the English national championships and then the Winmau World Masters. In 2012 she defended both titles and reached her first World final, defeated by Anastasia, at the start of 2013. Lisa corrected the glaring omission from her trophy cabinet in 2014, winning the World title and reversing the defeat to Anastasia of twelve months before. Ashton dominated women’s darts from that point on. She is now a four-time world champion (and in a fifth final) in addition to the multiple trophies from the other majors.
After the best part of five years dominating, BDO/WDF, Women’s darts, rule changes enabled Lisa to take on a new challenge and test herself in a new way. In 2019 she began to play PDC events on a level playing field with players of both sexes. She was not alone in making the attempt, and, it seemed that something had tipped for the ladies’ game.
First, Ashton took advantage of an offer from the PDC to attempt qualification for the World Championship in 2018. After claiming her place she made her Ally Pally in the 2018/19 event. She started her first-round clash impressively and emerged with great credit and popularity. She then to attended the PDC Q School event and attempt to gain a professional Tour Card. Although ultimately unsuccessful, she reached the last sixteen twice and finished high enough to remove any further doubts as to her ability to compete.
Ashton then opted to combine the BDO Women’s game with the Challenge Tour of the PDC. She has acquitted herself strongly and gained wins from her debut game (Toon Greebe). She has repeatedly reached the last 16 of these events and defeated players of both sexes and all ranks and degrees of fame.
Although the last year has been less successful, in terms of the Women’s game, Ashton has also demonstrated that it is possible to straddle codes and both ‘Open’ & Ladies darts. Lisa has now played in the World Championships and The Grand Slam of Darts (PDC) as well as the Women’s World Championship, and World Masters, within the BDO system.
It is almost impossible to calculate or overestimate the importance of Lisa Ashton to darts. The next decade may see a huge explosion in mixed-gender darts at all levels and across all codes. ‘The Lancashire’ Rose may well have been the catalyst for it all.
After a successful first day the BDO World Championship looked to consolidate in its new home. The Indigo at O2 had made a good impression and despite a few tecjnical hitches the coverage looked to have potential. Would Day 2 prove as successful?
The afternoon session opened with a marathon contest, Wayne Warren and Justin Thompson taking us all the way into a deciding set. Welshman Warren was a quarter-finalist in 2018 and will be looking to replicate that run after a disjointed year on the tour. After an up and down match, ‘The Yank’ sealed glory with a spectacular 120 checkout.
It was a similar story in the second match of the afternoon session as Ben Hazel was pegged back and pushed into a decider by Tennessee native Joe ‘Chainsaw’ Chaney. After originally building a 2-0 lead, Hazel surrendered the next two sets as we went into a decider. But the Hertfordshire showed his class, securing a win on debut at the o2 Indigo.
In the final men’s match of an elongated afternoon session Michael Unterbuchner put pay to Willem Mandigers chances for a second year running. The German defeated Mandigers in the quarter-finals of last years event, but despite seeing the second 170 checkout of the tournament in set one from the Dutchman, ‘T-Rex’ stayed steady to secure victory.
There were wins elsewhere for Aileen de Graaf and Laura Turner in the women’s section of the draw, de Graaf coming from a set down to defeat Kirsty Hutchinson on her World Championship debut.
Turner secured her first victory on the World Championship stage in dramatic fashion against multiple time finalist Deta Hedman. After a nervy opening set, Turner found her scoring game in set two, punishing her experienced opponent on the outer ring to book her return to the Indigo later this week.
In arguably the performance of the day, veteran campaigner Paul Hogan defeated Belgium’s Brian Raman. British Isles qualifier Hogan nailed a 158 in a routine victory over the first time competitor.
World Masters champion John O’Shea bowed out of the competition as he was far from his best against Andreas Harrysson of Sweden. Harrysson sprinted into a 2-0 advantage, but the Irishman showed tremendous grit to turn the tide and take the match to a decider. But it was not to be for ‘The Joker’ as Harrysson cleaned up in the final set to record a debut victory on the Indigo stage.
Martijn Kleermaker brought the days action to an end with a magnificent scoring display, five maximums, and at one point six perfect darts blowing away fellow Dutchman Gino Vos as the pair made their maiden bows on the Indigo stage.
‘The Dutch Giant’ ended the match with a 93.28 average, laying down a marker for all the title challenges, as he produced one of the standout performances of the tournament so far.
Day 2 Results:
Wayne Warren 3-2 Justin Thompson Ben Hazel 3-2 Joe Chaney Aileen de Graaf 2-1 Kirsty Hutchinson Michael Unterbuchner 3-1 Willem Mandigers
Andreas Harrysson 3-2 John O’Shea Laura Turner 2-0 Deta Hedman Paul Hogan 3-1 Brian Raman Martijn Kleermaker 3-0 Gino Vos
FAVOURITES Many people would say the champion of the ladies event will be Mikuru Suzuki and Lisa Ashton. In my opinion they are indeed the favourites after Fallon Sherrock had chosen to withdraw. Few people knew Mikuru before her qualifying for last years BDO World Championship and probably even fewer people expected her to win the first round match after she had drawn Lisa Ashton. Well, the rest is history. Lisa Ashton is a four times BDO World Champion and certainly knows what it takes to take the title and wants revenge for sure.
OUTSIDERS Deta Hedman is one of the most experienced and constant players in the ladies competition. However she hasn’t won the BDO World Championship yet despite playing three finals. Perhaps the change of location will help Hedman winning the title a player like she has to win at least once.
Anastasia Dobromyslova is a three times BDO World Champion. She however won her last world title back in 2013. Of course she had played fewer tournaments for some time after becoming mother. However she still made it to five finals in 2019, including the World Masters. The Russian star is always a player to reckon with.
Lorraine Winstanley is one of the players who is in the top of the ladies competition for several years now. She started 2019 with a second place at the BDO World Championship. Since then 2019 wasn’t her best year, but who knows what she might bring on the big stage.
Aileen de Graaf is also one of the players who is in the top of the ladies competition for some years. Aileen won the Finder Masters twice and also the World Masters 2015 and World Trophy 2017. So she know what it takes to win a big event, however at the World Championship her best result is reaching the semi final in 2016 and 2017.
PLAYERS TO WATCH Laura Turner has had a great 2019. Laura won the Isle of Man Open and reached the quarter finals of the World Trophy after making also her BDO World Championship. She however has a tough first round match against Deta Hedman, but if she can beat The Heart of Darts Laura certainly has a chance of going far.
Beau Greaves is known as a very talented player for some years now. In 2019 she played several events between the ladies despite being only 16 years old. Beau showed her class winning the Welsh Classic, Welsh Open, England National Championships and England Open which made her the number 6 seed.
INTERESTING FIRST ROUND MATCHES:
Aileen de Graaf meets in Kirsty Hutchinson a player who developed enormously in 2019. In first instance Kirsty just came short of qualifying, because she ended just outside of the top 14. At the qualifiers she showed she deserves to be in the world championship and she made also clear that the field of the ladies world championship might be extended because there are more and more players breaking through. Aileen is of course the favourite in this match, but if Aileen doesn’t turn up Kirsty might certainly take her chances.
Deta Hedman against Laura Turner sounds very interesting to me. Deta is a player who certainly deserves to win a world title, but until now it haven’t happened for her. This year Deta has a tough first opponent in Laura, who have had a great 2019 and if Deta isn’t in top form Laura is certainly capable of beating Deta.
Mikuru Suzuki will be regarded as one of the favourites in the upcoming World Championship. However her first opponent Maria O’Brien is a very tough opponent, who is hard to beat and have made some upsets on the big stage in recent years. So if Mikuru can’t cope with the pressure she might feel as defending world champion and which Maria might put on her this could become a very interesting match.
A wide open event, with an ever improving standard and depth of field. This could be the best ladies event seen on TV.
Thomas Junghans and Deta Hedman claimed the titles at the BDO Swiss Open this weekend.
Junghans, a Swiss national, came through a tough route to defeat Wayne Warren, Francis Carragher and Dennis Olde Kalter en route. Another notable performance resulted in a Qtr Final appearance from ‘SuperMario’ Jason Marriot. Marriot, a dartsworld.com contributor, appears to be concentrating on the BDO events this year and is improving rapidly.
Hedman, who won a seventh Swiss title after debuting in 1989, also dealt with a difficult route through the field. ‘The Heart Of Darts’ got the better of Sharon Prins, Fallon Sherrock and Laura Turner to claim a third title of the year. Remarkably Deta has also finished runner up, in this event, 6 times.
Swiss Open 2019
Men’s Quarter-Finals (Best of 3 sets, 3 legs 501) Brian Raman 2-1 Simon Stainton Dennie Olde Kalter 2-0 Jason Marriott Francis Carragher 2-0 Stefan Bellmont Thomas Junghans 2-0 Wayne Warren
Semi-Finals (Best of 3 sets, 3 legs 501) Dennie Olde Kalter 2-1 Brian Raman Thomas Junghans 2-0 Francis Carragher
Final (Best of 5 sets, 3 legs 501) Thomas Junghans 3-2 Dennie Olde Kalter
Ladies Quarter-Finals (Best of 3 sets, 3 legs 501) Aileen de Graaf 0-2 Corrine Hammond Karina Kaenzig 1-2 Laura Turner Fallon Sherrock 2-0 Kirsty Hutchinson Deta Hedman 2-0 Sharon Prins
Deta’s views on BDO Worlds, early darts career, growing up in Jamaica and more
We are delighted to be joined by darting legend and WTF women’s world number one Deta Hedman, who shares her exclusive thoughts to Sam Barnard for Darts World ahead of her ninth successive Lakeside appearance, in Part 4 of our 2018 BDO World Championship profile/interview series.
Deta is one of the sport’s most recognisable names, thanks to having been among the best female players in the world for the best part of 30 years and winning well over 100 titles during that time – including the World Masters twice (in 1994 and 2013), the 2011 Finder Masters and 2002 PDC Desert Classic.
Hedman has also battled her wits against the men in the past, notably becoming the first woman to defeat a man on TV when she knocked out both Aaron Turner and Norman Fletcher at the 2005 UK Open to reach the last 64 – progressing further than the likes of Glen Durrant, Peter Wright, Rod Harrington, Alan Warriner-Little, Keith Deller, Steve Beaton and even her brother Al!
A World Championship has still eluded her, though, despite coming so close three times after narrowly finishing runner-up in 2012, 2014 and 2016. But being in great current form, winning the Italian Grand Masters, Malta Open and Jersey Classic all in November, Deta goes into the 2018 edition in confident mood as top seed ahead of her opener against Norway’s Rachna David.
England star Hedman talks about all of the above and more, including growing up in Jamaica, her impressively sporting family, working 52 hours a week, her new nickname and reasons why she was forced into taking long spells out of the game.
So, read on for our exclusive Deta Hedman interview and profile, the fourth in our series, ahead of the 2018 BDO World Championship from January 6-14…
Date of birth: 14/11/1959 (age 58) Place of birth: Jamaica Nation: England Based: Witham, Essex County represented: Oxfordshire Nickname: The Heart of Darts Walk-on song: This Girl – by Kungs (Cookin’ on 3 Burners) Darts used: One80 R2 reflex Deta Hedman 26g Sponsors: One80 darts, Fastaway, L-Style, Big5, Steve Holmes/Mark Bridges Twitter handle: @deta132 Website: www.detahedman.com
Favourite double: Any one I hit! Favourite checkout: As above, but enjoyed 132 finishes at 2 Lakesides Favourite tournament: Dutch Open – biggest in the world Favourite country/city played in: Czech Republic, Prague Toughest players faced: Too many to mention Player(s) to look out for in future: Beau Greaves, Owen Roelofs and Charlie Stocks (only because he winds my partner Paul up) and he is very good Sports idols: Usain Bolt and loved the Jamaican bobsleigh team Best mates in darts: Jill Bailes and Maggie Sutton, modern day Lorraine Winstanley and Anastasia Dobromyslova Favourite food: Like a nice chilli con carne Favourite film(s)/TV show(s): Don’t even have a TV Favourite band(s)/musician(s): Anything that takes my fancy Hobbies outside of darts: All sports Day job: Royal Mail Ultimate darting ambition: To be world champion of course, but be nice to be remembered as a nice person
Deta Hedman interview
Firstly, how excited are you ahead of the upcoming 2018 Worlds? Do you believe you can finally lift the title?
I’m always get excited about a World Champs.
I can honestly say this is the toughest field since I made my Lakeside debut [in 2010]. Every player there is capable of beating anybody.
I believe I can win any event I enter, but as they say it’s all on the day .
You’ve had another fantastic year, winning many events and still being ranked WDF no.1. Are at the top of your game, and do you still have many darting years left in you?
My game has been very consistent the last eight years. I’ve been informed that since August 2009 I’ve won 102 ranking titles and 126 in my career.
Personally, I feel I was playing better about three seasons ago, but I’m not far off that form.
When I came back to darts, my partner Paul said ‘as long as you are enjoying darts, play’ – I’m still really enjoying my darts.
How do you balance such a demanding day job with darts? What is your darts practice regime like during the year and before the Worlds?
My REAL job is demanding as I work 52 hours in four nights [for the Royal Mail].
I try to do 20 minutes a day practice and mainly on doubles.
We are not allowed time off in December, so I actually practise less going into the Worlds.
What are your thoughts on the women’s game at present? Is there anything you’d like to see change or more that can be done by the BDO or even PDC again?
The women’s game has a very strong top end at the moment, my belief is we are an underused asset within the BDO at the moment.
There are continuing rumours of the PDC showing an interest in the top end of ladies darts, but let’s wait and see!
Many promises have failed to materialise for the ladies game.
How was your time in the PDC, and what were your memories of winning the Dessert Classic and making history in the UK Open? Would you like to see female players more regularly compete with the men?
PDC never had a women’s tour, I played on tour against the men. The Dessert Classic was a ladies event but not part of a PDC ladies tour.
I loved my time in the PDC. I used to drive my then partner Colin Lloyd to the events, and as we were there just entered. Had some great times in PDC as I have in BDO.
Ladies have proved we can compete against the men, but I think we deserve our own ladies tour, though would love an event or two where we were all in an event together.
You have taken two long breaks from darts since first starting out in the 1980s, was there a particular reason for that?
I was disenchanted with the game in 1997 – work commitments and a few issues led me to pack in.
Sometimes innocent remarks to some people are offensive to others, I used to hate being called a 6ft Mars bar – others found it funny.
I remember the BDO asked me to reconsider and go to World Cup in Australia to play for England.
[But] I stuck to my retirement, in fairness to the other ladies, and a certain Trina Gulliver was called up to replace me!
What memories do you have of Jamaica growing up? And was there a particular reason you moved to England?
The early days in Jamaica weren’t easy. My day would start with fetching water from the creek – in the early days we had Tilley Lamps, no electric.
When I was two, dad and mum came to England and I lived with my aunt (in Jamaica).
As mum and dad got established in England they brought us over one by one, so I came over when I was 13 and my first day in England I saw snow for the first time.
How exactly did you get into darts? And at what moment did you believe you can make it in the game?
In a very English tradition, I used to go down the pub on a Sunday lunchtime, used to mark and wouldn’t leave until I could beat one of my brothers.
I think they used to let me win just so they could go home for Sunday lunch.
I used to have a great friend, who sadly passed away, who encouraged me to play for a pub team and I then progressed to Superleague then county.
Is your nickname The Dark Destroyer in recognition of boxing great Nigel Benn by any chance? You are from a sporting family too?
It was a mixture of Nigel Benn and Shaun Wallace (both of Caribbean heritage too) – The Dark destroyer on The Chase.
I bumped into him at King’s Cross train station recently, and was introduced together as the 2 Dark Destroyers.
I am an ambassador for the Heart of Darts charity and I have now adopted that as my new nickname.
My brother Al Hedman won the British Open (defeating Andy Fordham in the 1995 final), my nephew Graeme ran the 400m for England and Great Britain in athletics, and my brother Rudi played football for several pro clubs including Crystal Palace.
I love all sports, and used to watch football and rugby a lot when I wasn’t playing darts.
And finally, are there any World Championship finals you remember that really stood out most for you in the past?
As a spectator, the famous Martin Adams v Phill Nixon battle [in the 2007 BDO final] stands out.
In the ladies, I think my final against Lisa Ashton [in 2014] had it all. I was 2 sets up, and 1 leg from winning, and Lisa launched an amazing fight back.
To make it strange I had campaigned for years to make the ladies final best of 5 sets instead of 3!
If I had kept quiet I would have beat Lisa 2-0 and Trina 2-1 [in 2016], but in fairness it should have been 5 sets all along.
Many thanks to Deta for speaking to us this week, and best of luck at Lakeside! Join us next time for part 5 of our BDO Worlds interview series where we’ll hear the thoughts of 2015 men’s world champion Scott Mitchell.
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