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European Darts Ex Champions, what happened to them?

6 months ago

705 words

PDC champions

In every sport we can always find certain athletes that have the talent and the discipline to stand out. There is Michael Jordan in basketball; Zinedine Zidane in soccer; Serena Williams in tennis and a lot more in the large menu of sports.

In the past article we told you about the history and popularity of a specific sport: darts. And, it is completely normal to expect that there are important player names related to this sport’s competitions, as well.

Phil Taylor champion

Phil Taylor

In order to highlight some of the most outstanding names that the European Darts competitions have had, we would have to begin with Phil Taylor. He is considered the best darts player by the audience and the rest of the professionals, in the world.

He was born in England on August 13th, 1960. Taylor won a total of 216 professional tournaments. He gained the title of winner in 8 amazing and consecutive World Championships from 1995 through 2002. He earned the respect of his fellow contestants and fans from all over the globe.

Initially, he played for the British Darts Organisaton, but ended this relationship in the year of 1993. After making the decision to leave the British Darts Organisation, Taylor and 15 other top players at that time, gathered with the goal of creating a new organization of their own. This organization was called the World Darts Council, but later changed its name to the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC).

During an interview on January, 2017, Phil Taylor announced that he planned on retiring when the 2018 World Darts Championship would end. Throughout his career and thanks to all the prizes he achieved, the public gave him the nickname of “The Power”.

Adrian Lewis

Adrian Lewis

We should continue with Adrian Lewis for two reasons: simple age order, and because of the fact the Lewis was somehow Taylor’s protégé, and this gave him a massive advantage. Who wouldn’t want to learn directly from the best in darts himself?

Lewis is also the owner of a nickname, but his has a more special and unique origin. On a trip Adrian Lewis made to Las Vegas, he ran with a lot of luck and was declared the winner of nothing less than $72,000 while playing and gambling.

But, the dark (and quite unique) side of the anecdote came along when they realized that Lewis was only 20 years of age, which meant he was not legally old enough to claim those $72,000; he had to be 21 to be considered legally able to gamble in the US.

Adrian Lewis was definitely another great darts player, but he was not always a favorite. His actions and attitude during matches got him into trouble several times, including being suspended, banned and charged with fines due to his behavior.

According to the PDC Order of Merit, which works as the official ranking system, Lewis has made £2,500,000 in his 12 years of career as a professional darts player.

Michael Van Gerwen

Michael van Gerwen

And last, but most definitely not least, we have the incredible Michael van Gerwen. He is currently ranked as player number one worldwide. A lot of people in the darts world keep very close track of van Gerwen and they believe he could be the one to equal Phil Taylor, or maybe even leave Taylor’s records behind.

Michael is a true fan of the sport and has been passionate about it since he began as a player, when he was just 13 years old. In 2012 was when he really entered professional tournaments. Although he was good, he didn’t make it to the high ranked players the year of his debut.

That year he finished ranked as 32 in the world. But, van Gerwen only needed a year to make that change. By the beginning of 2013 he was ranked number four. In 2014, Michael van Gerwen, at the age of 24, became the youngest participant to win the PDC World Championship.

From 2012 to 2017, no one has been able to take away that title from him. This is why he is considered the second most successful darts player in the world, right behind Phil Taylor. Even though there is a difference of 30 years between Taylor and van Gerwen’s age, they both share an amazing, unbelievable and questionless talent when it comes to darts.

European Darts Contests

6 months ago

702 words

Most people have a like for a certain sport or two. Some sports figure within a list of popular and well known sports, like basketball, soccer, football, tennis, volleyball, baseball, karate, or boxing. And others are less known and less practiced, like Lima Lama, which, chances are you’ve never even heard of it, but it’s a type of self defense similar to the combination of kickboxing and karate.

But, we are not here to talk about a world-wide practiced sport, like soccer, neither about one that is not as known, like Lima Lama. Let’s say we are going to be talking about a sport that is kind of in the middle of those two concept examples: Darts.

Darts are a sport that maybe you don’t quite recall instantly, but the following image will help with that:

Do you remember seeing one of these round dartboards in movies? Or you could have seen it in person a few years ago. How about the term “bullseye”? Does it sound more familiar now? Well, you’ve probably seen it either in person or in some movies, and you can tell it isn’t such a difficult or complex game to understand. The hard part is actually hitting the bullseye.

Think of archery, and darts could be a mini adapted version of archery using much smaller “arrows”. This sport is very popular throughout Europe, and it has its own Professional Darts Corporation, which is the main professional and formal figure in the sport.

It is in charge of numerous events that are held worldwide and it gives more than 10 million pounds in prizes over a year of international ongoing tournaments. Their very first event was held on October of the year 1992, and they organized the first World Championship in 1994.

How do you play darts?

In order to play the sport you will need a dartboard and darts. The dartboard is a circular marked board that is attached to a wall. The marks show the different areas where you could hit the board, and the respective amount of points you obtain depending on the area you hit. There are two small circles drawn in the exact center of the board, a smaller circle insider another bigger one. The darts are small arrows.

The game basically consists in standing at a certain distance from the dartboard and throwing the dart with the goal of hitting the very smallest circle in the center of the board, called the “inner bullseye”. The farther you actually hit from that bullseye, the fewer points you win.

There are regulations for the sport, such as the dimensions of both the darts and the board; the standing distance which the player must be at from the dartboard, which is established to be 2.37 meters; the weight of the dart (which cannot exceed 50 grams); and the height from the floor at which the dartboard must be fixed to the wall, which demands that the center of the bullseye should be at 5 ft 8 inches from the floor. But there are also some variations for not strictly professional playing purposes.

The European Darts Championship is an event that began in 2008. It is an annual event that takes place in different European countries. Their 2017 location was Germany and their prize fund had the amount of £400,000. The current champion is Michael Van Gerwen, who has been the champion for the last four years in a row.

The competition gathers 32 players in total. There has only been four champions in the ten years of the European Championship so far; Phil Taylor, who won the very first four events, from 2008 to 2011. Then, in 2012 there was a new champion: Simon Whitlock. For the 2013 edition, the champion was Adrien Lewis, and from 2014 to 2017 the champion has remained to be Michael Van Gerwen.

For its 2018 edition, the dates for the European Darts Championship are programmed to be from Thursday, October 25th through Sunday, October 28th; and it will be taking place in Germany, once again, where we will find out if Van Gerwen will keep his title of champion for his fifth year in a row, or if someone else will be receiving that title (and good economic prize) this year.