Columnist Predicted Sherrock’s Starring Role.

Our columnist, and contributor, JR Lott added this tiny piece to a World Championship e-guide produced before the Ally Pally event this year. He seems he had an inkling of what was to come!

FALLON SHERROCK (Pic: Christopher Dean)

For the 2019 World Championship, the PDC innovated once more. A direct route for female players to play in the championships was introduced for the first time. Lisa Ashton and Anastasia were the qualifiers, from very high-quality field, and both played strongly in the main event.  This year the route has been extended to include a UK and a Rest of the World style qualifying event.  

Mikuru Suzuki,37, will debut at Ally Pally after capturing the Lakeside title in 2019. She is familiar with the PDC set up, and atmosphere, after being selected by the BDO for this year’s Grand Slam of Darts. The Japanese star made things deciding decidedly uncomfortable for Gerwyn Price in her opening match. Despite not qualifying for the knockout stage she will have gained valuable experience, and having little to lose, and could be very dangerous indeed. 

(PIC;LAWRENC LUSTIG) FALLON SHARROCK PRESS CONFERENCE

Fallon Sherrock has been somewhat overshadowed in recent years. The former World Championship finalist, and twice major title winner, has been outmatched by Lisa Ashton and now Suzuki. The twenty-five-year-old hairdresser has, however, had a superb 2019, winning several titles all around Europe. She then played superbly in the ladies’ qualifying event averaging close to 100.

Her debut at Alexandra Palace will introduce her to a whole new audience and may prove another boost to her career. 

The form and ability of the female representatives keeps getting stronger and stronger. It may not be long until darts becomes a fully integrated sport. 


The Miracle – Mikuru Speaks To Darts World.

A little while ago our lead reporter caught up with the remarkable Mikuru Suzuki. As well as revealing her discomfort at having to wear shoes in her own house, against Japanese tradition, to play Phil Taylor, she enjoyed a full Q & A session ‘our man in Japan’:


Darts World: What was your childhood like, where did you grow up in Japan?

Mikuru Suzuki: I grew up in Osaka in a city called Katano. It’s a bit in the countryside with lots of nature. I think I was a quite active child.

Suzuki Into the spotlight. Pic:Taylor Lanning

DW: How many in your family? Brothers and sisters?

MS: We are a family of three. My husband and son. I also have an older brother who is two years older.

DW: What did you first want to be when you grew up for a job?

MS: I had no specific career in mind but I wanted a job that allows me to talk with other people.

DW: When did you first play darts, how old and where?

MS: I was 26 when I threw my first darts. My friend took me to a dart bar and we played there.


DW: What was your first big win which meant you knew you could go professional?

MS: There is a soft (electronic) darts pro tour (for which, a player has to get a pro license) in Japan. I think it was the first win of one of those tour stop in Nagoya.


DW: What did the people close to you think of you playing darts for a career?

MS: I became a professional dart player after getting married and I can continue to be so thanks to the understanding and support of my husband. I think I am lucky with the support of my close ones.


DW: What has been your favourite darts match so far?

MS: I think it was my first at Lakeside against Lisa, that January. I remember that the enjoyment of the game took over the nervousness and I manage to get the win.


DW: Do you believe that women can compete with men and beat them on a regular basis?

MS: Currently it is still hard but definitely want to get closer to that.


DW: What is your ambition in darts?

MS: To be the number one on the planet.


DW: What do you think of the standard of the Ladies game? Who are your biggest rivals?

MS: I think the standard will still rise a lot.


DW: Do you think Beau Greaves is going to be the future of the Ladies game?

MS: I think she has a huge potential still inside her.


DW: How do you think your game can improve?

MS: I think it will take time but I can improve it by trying to reach the level of the men.

(PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG) MIKURU SUZUKI & DIMITRI VAN DEN BERGH.


DW: What’s been the most exciting thing about coming to the UK? London?

MS: Maybe the shopping part? I also love to go to the grocery stores!

DW: Are there more talented younger players coming through from Japan?

MS: I think there will be more and more indeed. The road is built, so why wouldn’t they?


OM: Do you think we will one day see a Japanese mens World Champion?

MS: I strongly believe so. The dart level in Japan, in Asia is currently going through a big growing period.


DW: What is your favourite food and drink?

MS: I like spicy food and black tea.


DW: What is your favourite food and drink in the UK?

MS: It’s not a meal food but I really like the Salt and Vinegar crisps! I like things like the HP sauce and malt vinegar that is not common in Japan.


DW: Who is your sporting idol?

MS: I think it might be Saori Yoshida who was called the strongest human on earth. I also am trying to be the best dart player.


DW: Are you proud of what Japan achieves in other sports. Like how they did in the Rugby World Cup?

MS: Yes, especially the Rugby World Cup was a fantastic event and people were quite excited!


DW: Do you have any hobbies or other interests.

MS:

I like singing Karaoke and golf. But I am not good at either.


Pix: Taylor Lanning (unless stated)

Flash in Japan – Darts World Exclusive!

MIKURU SUZUKI had to break the Japanese tradition of wearing shoes indoors to play The God of Darts. The current Ladies World Champion lost narrowly to the greatest player of all-time in a virtual match on Sky Sports.

But Suzuki revealed it was a weird experience. She admitted:

“I have never worn shoes in my house. So I feel weird. I will feel something strange.

I mean I feel weird myself wearing shoes in my room for the first time to play darts during the game.”

I always wear shoes to play in. It makes a difference when you play. When I train I wear shoes. Of course, I will wear it during this game. I am a bit worried I will be too loud and make too much noise with my shoes in this quiet Japanese house. Maybe I will bother my family. I am a bit worried and concerned about that during the game”.

“It’s a Japanese tradition, I would even say that 100 percent of Japanese people take off their shoes before entering a house. We have space to put all the shoes from everyone. It’s a huge tradition to take off your shoes before entering the house.” Suzuki, 38, narrowly missed out on becoming the first woman to beat a man at the Ally Pally World Championships before Fallon Sherrock achieved that feat.

She added:

“He is super famous here. Here in Japan, he’s known literally as the God of Darts. I don’t think there is someone here in Japan who plays darts and doesn’t know Phil Taylor. Also being able to play a charity game against him is something if anybody Japanese hears about, he will be super happy, really impressed.”

Suzuki also admits she may need to move to the UK permanently to pursue her dream of getting a PDC Tour Card as she follows the surge in women’s darts spearheaded by Sherrock and Lisa Ashton.She added: “This year my plans were to move around several countries, play worldwide, but unfortunately due to this current situation I have not been able to leave my country. Once things are back to normal, I’d like to start moving again. I want to follow Lisa and get a Tour Card. I’d like to challenge myself around the world.

“Women haven’t proven ourselves enough yet. For example it’s a win or lose thing, of course, we can always win. But honestly to keep winning at that level, to get consistent wins, it’s something we have not been able to do that yet. Basically there is a wall. We have to keep winning consistently.

“Of course, I’d really love to go to UK and to experience life there and live there. At the same time getting my visa sorted would be quite a tough thing. If I am able to get the PDC Tour Card, I’d decide to live in the UK for one or two years. That’s my decision.”


Pix: Taylor Lanning

Darts World Revs Up With Suzuki – Tomorrows Exclusive.

Tomorrow is ‘Ladies’ Day’ at Darts World. Our lead reporter chatted with Target’s Mikuru Suzuki and the conversation turned into quite a chat! See our latest stories from 8 am tomorrow. From risking family offense, to ‘the wall’ that faces women darts players. Oh yeah, ‘The Miracle’ loves her rugby too!

Look out for the full, and exclusive, story tomorrow morning and then keep your eye on Darts World twitter feed throughout the day.


Pic: Taylor Lanning

Dutch Open: Details, Streaming & Schedule.

Richard Veenstra will be looking to retain his title when ‘The World’s Largest‘ darts open gets underway this Friday. Sadly, Mikuru Suzuki cannot defend her 2019 crown. De Bonte Wever in Assen will host the 2020 Dutch Open with the event being streamed live and free on WinmauTV across 31st Jan – 2nd Feb.

The WDDA Winmau World Championship will be streamed live at 7pm this Friday.

The inaugural WDDA Winmau World Championship also takes place on Friday 31st Jan. as part of the renowned event, with the final streamed at approx. 7pm on Friday.

Friday opens with the Pairs tournament played down to and including the semi-finals, with the finals opening the stage finals on Sunday. The Winmau WDDA tournament will also begin at approx. midday Friday with the final set to be played at approx. 7pm.

Saturday the singles tournaments get under way with over 5000 entrants taking part for the Mens, Ladies and Paradarts classifications. The Ladies will play down to the final whilst the Mens play down to the last 64 and the Paradarts will be played to it’s conclusion.

Can Wayne Warren add another prestigious title to his World Championship win?

Sunday the men’s last 64 onwards will play until the final whilst the Youth events get underway – stage matches then start at 12.30 local time where all finals will be played.

All the coverage will be streamed live and free on WinmauTV – tune in here.

Full Schedule is available from the Dutch Open website here.


A version of this article appeared in Winmau.com

Pics:Red Dragon, Winmau (Design), L Lustig (PDC)

BDO World Championship Review – Day 7. Suzuki & Barry Claim Titles as Williams & Warren to Make Up All Welsh Final.

Mikuru Suzuki retains her BDO Ladies World Championship title as she defeated Lisa Ashton in straight sets on Saturday evening. After coming through a tough encounter with Beau Greaves in the semi-final, the Japanese star saved her best stuff for the final.

Ashton had not dropped a set on route to the final, but found herself in trouble early on against Suzuki. With both players averaging in the high 80’s, it was the ruthless finishing of Suzuki that gave her the initiative.

‘The Lancashire Rose’ would have chances to close out the first set but couldn’t make them count, Suzuki once again showing her ruthless side as she powered into a 2-0 lead. It would be plane sailing for there on as the pressure heaped on Ashton. Suzuki winning the title for a second successive year, beating the number one seed in the final.

Warren defeated Scott Mitchell to advance to the final.


It will be an all Welsh BDO Men’s final as Wayne Warren and Jim Williams both won through their respective semi-finals on Saturday evening.

After a quick start from 2015 World Champion Scott Mitchell, Warren was able to peg him back going into the first interval. ‘Yank’ would take the lad for the first time in the contest as the 2-1 scoreline was reversed with Warren leading 3-2.

Despite six perfect darts in the pivotal leg of set six, a magnificent 121 checkout from Mitchell would peg him back to 3-3. From there on Warren would put down a marker, stamping his authority on the game as he reached a first World Championship final aged 58.

Jim Williams came through a tough semi in his attempt to emulate close friend Glen Durrant!
PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG GROUP JIM WILLIAMS IN ACTION

He later found out he would face good friend Jim Williams in the final after he squeezed past (Super) Mario Vandenbogaerde. In a game of consistent scoring and the occasional missed double, it was impossible to separate the two as they went stride by stride in the opening six sets.


That was when Williams would make his advantage count, nailing two consecutive sets and making Vandenbogaerde pay for missed doubles. Despite a brief comeback from the Belgian, Williams would finally close out the contest, setting up that all Welsh final for Sunday evening.

Barry added another crown to his impressive 2019/20 collection.
PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG KEANE BARRY IN ACTION


In the World Youth Final, Keane Barry proved to have too much for 13-year-old Leighton Bennett as he recorded a 3-0 scoreline. ‘Boom Boom’ defeated Nathan Girvan to claim the title 12 months again but the superior big stage experience of the Irishman was a factor as he claimed the crucial opening set.


Bennett missed two darts at double 16 to make things square, allowing Barry to double his advantage as he steamed towards the title. It would all be wrapped up in the third set as confidence continued to flow for Barry, who adds another prestigious trophy to his cabinet.

Womens World Final: Mikuru Suzuki 3-0 Lisa Ashton

Men’s Semi Finals:
Wayne Warren 6-3 Scott Mitchell 
Jim Williams 6-4 Mario Vandenbogaerde 

World Youth Final(BDO): Keane Barry 3-0 Leighton Bennett 

Suzuki Motors to Back to Back Titles.

The Japanese star known as ‘The Miracle’ confirmed both her talent and her emergence as a fan favourite at the O2 Indigo on Saturday night.

PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG MIKURU SUZUKI

Mikuru Suzuki retains her BDO Ladies World Championship title as she defeated Lisa Ashton in straight sets. After coming through a tough encounter with Beau Greaves in the semi-final, the Japanese star saved her best stuff for the final.

Ashton, looking for a fifth World Title, had not dropped a set on route to the final. Yet the forty-nine year old found herself in trouble early on against Suzuki. With both players averaging in the high 80’s, it was the ruthless finishing of Suzuki that gave her the initiative.

‘The Lancashire Rose’ would have chances to close out the first set but couldn’t make them count, Suzuki once again showing her ruthless side as she powered into a 2-0 lead. It would be plane sailing for there on as the pressure heaped on Ashton. Suzuki winning the title for a second successive year, beating the number one seed in the final.



Words – Josh Green BDO

Additional Comment – DW Staff

Pic – L Lustig

BDO World Championship Review – Day 7.

Beau will have to wait at least more more year to left the World Championship.

Lisa Ashton continued her quest for a fifth Ladies World Title as she whitewashed Australia’s Corrine Hammond to reach Saturday’s final at the o2 Indigo. She was dominant in her performance against former finalist Hammond, who failed to win a leg against the rampant ‘Lancashire Rose’. She was joined by Mikuru Suzuki as the Japanese Star battled past Beau Greaves in the second semi-final. Greaves has been the star of the tournament but after finding herself in uncharted territory, the experienced Suzuki proved a step too far. As the opening two sets went with throw, Suzuki found her scoring game in the latter stages of set three, giving Greaves too much ground to make up as she set up a final showdown with Lisa Ashton in the final.


In the men’s quarter-finals Wayne Warren confirmed his first World Championship semi-final appearance at the age of 58. ‘The Yank’ recorded the victory against free-flowing Dutchman Chris Landman, who was also looking for a first semi-final appearance. But in a topsy-turvy encounter, the additional experience of Warren paid dividends as he became our first semi-finalist. 

Mario Vandenbogaerde, a player making his World Championship debut after a 12 year absence from the game, also made the Qtr Finals. It was a quick start for ‘Super Mario’ who looked to be heading for a simple victory. But as the pressure grew, David Evans got his foot in the door, taking the third set to plant the seed of doubt before the players took a break for the interval. Aside from briefly getting on level terms, that would be as close as ‘Stretch’ got the semi-finals, the former Belgian number one continuing his dream run into the semi-final stages. The Belgian will now take on tournament favourite Jim Williams in the final after the Welshman made light work of Paul Hogan. ‘Crocodile Dundee’ had been magnificent in his opening two matches, but that form was nowhere to be seen as Williams recorded a 5-1 victory on the Indigo stage.

Exclusive Scott Mitchell interview.
Scott Mitchell seems to be gliding toward another World Title. Photo: BDO
Waites found his game in the Qtr final against his friend Scott Mitchell. But seemed to tire toward the end.


Scott Mitchell completed the semi-final line-up as he saw off good friend Scott Waites in the final game of the evening. It was nip and tuck all the way through, with neither player able to build up a significant cushion. With both players averaging in the mid 90’s, Mitchell found that extra gear in the crucial deciding set to secure just a second ever World Championship semi-final appearance. 



Results
Wayne Warren 5-3 Chris Landman 
Lisa Ashton 2-0 Corrine Hammond 
Mario Vandenbogaerde 5-3 David Evans 

Jim Williams 5-1 Paul Hogan 
Mikuru Suzuki 2-1 Beau Greaves 
Scott Mitchell 5-4 Scott Waites 

BDO World Championship – Ladies Night & Day 6.

After the surprise exits of Richard Veenstra and Wesley Harms on Wednesday, we completed the men’s quarter-final line-up on Thursday. We also saw the return of the ladies, with eight of the best playing it out for a place in the semi-finals.

Jim Williams stepped up his performance yesterday during a whitewashed Ryan Hogarth.
PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG JIM WILLIAMS IN ACTION


Beau Greaves was the player to set the standard in terms of the women’s competition, heading up the averages with an 86.3 against former finalist Aileen de Graaf. With the match coming on her 16th Birthday she was handed a perfect present in the shape of a semi-final spot on debut at the Indigo. Earlier in the session Corrine Hammond booked her place in the semi-finals, she would face Lisa Ashton after ‘The Lancashire Rose’ came past Lorraine Winstanley. Three-time champion Ashton went into the tournament as favourite and is continuing to live up to that tag with some excellent performances.


The singular men’s match in the afternoon session would see tournament favourite Jim Williams whitewash Scotland’s Ryan Hogarth. Following a nervy first set, the Welshman and number two seed began to settle, finding his consistent scoring game and leaving Hogarth in the dust. He would eventually secure the whitewash score line and yet another quarter-final appearance. 

Mikuru Suzuki progressed again in defence of her title.
PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG MIKURU SUZUKI


Mikuru Suzuki confirmed the semi-final line-up in the women’s competition with a routine win over Anastasia Dobromyslova. The Japanese star was pushed to the brink in set one as Anastasia misseddarts for a lead, but as the pressure built, Suzuki took control.

An eventual average of around the 78 mark enough to set up a potentially mouth-watering tie with teenage prodigy Beau Greaves for a place in the final.


The evening session also confirmed our men’s quarter finalists with Super Mario Vandenbogaerde and Paul Hogan putting out statements of intent. The aforementioned Hogan piled in a 99.8 average as he defeated Martijn Kleermaker 4-1 to make his first World Championship quarter-final since 
2006. Vandenbogaerde, who is many people outsider for the title, put in another high quality performance to see off Dennie Olde Kalter. The Belgian started quickly, gliding into a 3-0 lead. But with the match all but over, the Dutchman sparked into life, reducing the deficit to the applause of the crowd. But that would be it for Olde Kalter who faded in the fifth set, with Super Mario making a dream quarter-final appearance at his first World Championship after 12 years away from the game.

Results – Day 6

Corrine Hammond 2-0 Laura Turner 
Jim Williams 4-0 Ryan Hogarth 
Beau Greaves 2-1 Aileen de Graaf 

Lisa Ashton 2-0 Lorraine Winstanley 
Mario Vandenbogaerde 4-1 Dennie Olde Kalter 
Mikuru Suzuki 2-0 Anastasia Dobromyslova 
Paul Hogan 4-1 Martijn Kleermaker 


Featured Pic:L Lustig / PDC (Lisa Ashton salutes the crowd)

BDO World Championship Review – Day 3.

Paul Hogan was just milimetres away from a nine-darter as he saw off former World Masters champion Adam Smith-Neale in double quick time. After two consecutive 180’s, Hogan left double 18, but couldn’t quite find the target as Smith-Neale failed to find his scoring game as Hogan took the whitewash victory. 

Debutant Nick Fullwell get off to a good start. Defeating the seeded David Cameron 3-1.

Number one seed Wesley Harms began his Indigo campaign with a hard fought victory over Andreas Harrysson in the afternoon session in Central London. ‘Sparky’, a former electrician goes into the tournament as one of the favourites for the title, but was 
pushed all the way by the heavy scoring Swede. After the duo shared the opening four sets, experienced proved to be a key factor in the fifth, the Dutchman cranking up to pressure to put his name in the mix for round two. 

Suzuki moved to rd two in the defense of her crown.
PIC; L Lustig.

It was a perfect start for reigning Ladies champion Mikuru Suzuki as she started her title defence with a victory over Maria O’Brien. Plymouth based O’Brien took the first set with ease, but that was seemingly the wake up call Suzuki needed. 

The Japanese star returned with the fire in her belly, immediately fighting back to take the match into a decider. Despite a brief flurry of heavy scoring from ‘OB’, Suzuki secured her spot in the quarters in spite of the early wobble. 

There were also wins for debutantes Nick Fullwell and Justin Hood in the slightly reduced Monday afternoon schedule. Somerset based Hood made his TV debut at the World Masters in October, but eased into life under the lights with a routine victory over Romania’s Gabriel Pascaru. 

Elsewhere, Andy Hamilton proved too much for Darren Herewini to handle, The New Zealander was superb in his victory over Simon Stainton, but couldn’t replicate that performance at Hamilton found a extra gear in set four to take the win. 

Fullwell, competing in his first BDO World Championships, aged 50, was surprisingly dominant against Canada’s David Cameron. ‘Excalibur’ has been a thorn in the side of many big names over the years, but could do little as the French Open finalist set up a tie with David Evans on Tuesday afternoon. 

Waites moves through after defeating Martin Adams in a nervy looking encounter.



In a battle of the BDO legends Scott Waites came out on top against Martin Adams. In a scrappy encounter, where missed doubles were a key factor, ‘Too Hotty’ was the one to hold is nerve in the final furlong to secure his spot in round three.

Afternoon Session
Justin Hood 3-1 Gabriel Pascaru 
Nick Fullwell 3-1 David Cameron 
Wesley Harms 3-2 Andreas Harrysson

Evening Session
Andy Hamilton 3-1 Darren Herewini 
Mikuru Suzuki 2-1 Maria O’Brien 
Scott Waites 3-2 Martin Adams 
Paul Hogan 3-0 Adam Smith-Neale 

Content By Josh Green (@JoshGreenMedia)