Globaldarts in the field
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 Daniel Zygla.
In the 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.
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 started today.
All in all it was a thrilling, interesting and exhausting darts day. Now I look forward to tomorrow.