Might be the one or other wondered that I don't seem to be in
Dublin for the World Grand Prix this year. But the World Grand Prix is not the
only major tournament which is played at the moment! And to be sure I am in the
field though not in Dublin - but for the first time in Hull, where the Winmau
World Masters started yesterday.
The tournament - better the tournaments - already started on Tuesday with the
first phase of the new BDO Youth World Championship. A lot of the best youth
players from around the world were here anyway to take part in the World
Masters. In the final of the World Championship Harry Ward from England will
play against Dutch Colin Roelofs. On Wednesday the play-offs for the BDO World
Championship took place and from the field of participants Canadian Maria
Mason, Sarah Brent from England, Daniel Larsson from Sweden, Englishman Rhys
Hayden, Canadian Jeff Smith and Belgian Cedric Waegemans qualified - all for
the first time in Lakside.
On Thursday then the World Masters really started and my first impression when
I stood in the venue was: What enormous amount of dart players! In the Airco
Arena in Hull more then 60 dartboards were set up in four rows at which was
played simultaneously. There was one row for the youth, one for the ladies and
two for the men as those are usually most numerously. All players had to
qualify for the tournament. Different from the World Cup there are no national
teams - all players are there as individual players, which makes it not so easy
to identify them as most don't wear a national shirt - well some nations wore
it, the Canadians for example. But most players wear their own shirts often not
even with there really name but with a nickname or no name at all. Thus it took
me quite some time to sort out that the"Flame" was the German player
unbelievable bustle it is almost impossible to have some kind of overview. But
I have to say the organisation was really well done and everything run
smoothly. The winners reported their results at the responsible table; the
losers chalked the next match. All the players had some kind of "buck
sheet" where the next match was filled in including the starting time -
and there were no problems at all! All was orderly; some players had their
small children and babies with them - Aileen de Graaf for example. You could
always see at which board she was playing - to sure there were her partner and
the pram surrounded by other players. Now wonder - it really is a cute baby!
I did see a lot of good matches - especially in the later rounds. The youth
players were impressive. There you could even find several kids who had who had
to stand on tiptoes to be able to draw their darts out of the board like
Rusty-Jake Rodriguez but nevertheless won against their much bigger rivals.
A lot of ladies faces I recognized from the BDO World Championship the likes
like Trina Gulliver - one of the few ladies who plays on high heels, Anastasia Dobromyslova,
Lisa Ashton and a lot more.
difficult it was with there men - there were just too many and some look
"live" a lot different then on pictures in the internet. I watched
some matches of American Jim Widmayer who really played good, but lost the
deciding match. I watched Madars Razma who looked very focused and played
strong. Of course I watched Ted Hanley, who lost his deciding match against
young Welshman Nick Kenny who before had defeated Tony O'Shea. I watched the
deciding match between a player from Japan and a Spanish player together with
both a group of Japanese and Spanish players. The Spanish were very quiet, not
uttering a word while the Japanese shouted over every throw of the country man.
In the end Seigo Asada the player from Japan won the match. And of course I
watched Germans Daniel Zygla, Robert Allenstein and Irina Armstrong. All showed
a good performance though they didn't manage to qualify for the stage matches which
All in all it was a thrilling, interesting and exhausting darts day. Now I look forward to tomorrow.