PDC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP DARTS SUCCESS
14 January 2021
Drama, controversy, pure class and theatre
It was the most unique World Championship in darts history.
There were fans for just one night but it wasn’t short on drama, controversy, pure class and theatre.
Toyo Tires were at the heart of all the biggest action on TV during phenomenal festive arrows action at the Alexandra Palace.
This included an innovative and popular online Predictor Game partnership hosted by the PDC on their website were three lucky winners had the change to predict their way into one of three placed prizes. The 1st place winner received what else but a set of tyres.
Toyo were also prominent throughout with every player wearing a logo on the arm of their shirts.
TV viewing figures were strong throughout. It ended with the final being one of the biggest-watched showpieces with 1.3million tuning in to see a brand new World Champion crowned.
Indeed, right from night one, it was intoxicating viewing. Just 400 fans were allowed into the famous old arena on what turned out to be the last day of fan attendance as London went into Tier 4 Covid-19 restrictions.
For those chosen few, it was just stay at table instructions, no singing and no fancy dress.
But defending World Champion Peter Wright had other ideas on stage.
He turned up in the most outrageous outfit ever worn by a dart player in World Championship history as The Grinch.
That included a full green outfit, even fluffy green gloves and his goatee beard and mohican painted green.
Wright won his opening match but that was it for the fans. It would be behind closed doors for the rest of the tournament.
That might have quelled the constant din and singing. But it certainly didn’t dull the atmosphere when it came to the pure drama unfolding on stage.
The top seeds went tumbling out in shock after shock. Out went 2018 World Champion Rob Cross, out went 2019 runner-up Michael Smith and 2019 and 2020 semi-finalist Nathan Aspinall.
Next the big one. Defending Champion Wright lost out to Gabriel Clemens, TV viewing figures in Germany going through the roof. Now who would take the crown?
The biggest drama then erupted after Christmas. Gary Anderson claimed gamesmanship from rival Mensur Suljovic, apparently slowing their clash down deliberately and even using the wrong table on stage!
Anderson won the match before calling Sky Sports pundit and former player Wayne Mardle a “numpty”.
More drama was delivered. James Wade hit the first nine-dart perfect leg since 2016 and then Michael van Gerwen came back from 3-1 down to beat Joe Cullen in the match of the tournament as Sky Sports viewers boomed.
But the biggest shock was to come. Dutchman Van Gerwen, the World No.1 thrashed 5-0 in the quarter-finals by Dave Chisnall.
That left the door open for Welshman Gerwyn Price. He beat former champ Gary Anderson with an explosive final performance.
Former rugby star The Iceman won a cool half a million, won his first world title and became World No.1.
The first-ever winner without a single fan present. But an incredible feat to get the event on. What a night. What a tournament.
By Phil Lanning
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