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We reflect on the first three days, we have injuries, Andy Pandy and other things!

Ladbrokes World Darts Championship

Posted: 16.12.13 in Tournament Analysis Blog category

We reflect on the first three days, we have injuries, Andy Pandy and other things!

 
 

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It has been gruelling since Friday! There have been some real tough battles, some real tests of endurance, but the good news is I think I have finally shifted my man-flu! Oh yes, there has been some darts too!

The 2014 World Championships has lived up to expectations and we have only had three days of it. We have had Taylor have a wobble but go through, we have had Peter Wright in a most colourful outfit. There have been a number of excellent and humorous attempts to describe his outfit; my best effort is imagine Andy Pandy at a gay pride march!

Snakebite seems to be metamorphosing into a version of Wayne Mardle.  Is this by his design or are there some outside influences moulding his style?  At the moment the key difference between Peter Wright and Mardle is that Snakebite is still hitting the doubles. He needs to just keep an eye on the reason he is up on the stage, it’s not to make bizarre fashion statements!

The graveyard shift on Saturday afternoon rewarded all those who abandoned their Christmas shopping and stayed at home to watch the darts. There were two 9 darters in consecutive matches. If that is not enough to get the statistical geek in you drooling then even better (from a statistical viewpoint) was that both players who hit the nine darters went on to lose the game.

Terry Jenkins and Kyle Anderson were the two lucky (they are currently sharing £30,000) or unlucky (both are out) players. We were told it was the old adage of players hitting nine darters but then going on to lose the game. I don’t really think it is an old adage. We can simplify that, it is the rules of the game. If you hit a 9 darter you win a leg. If you don’t win more legs than your opponent you lose, simples!

Another interesting area, for me anyway was the Mark Dudbridge interview played before his match against Gary Anderson. Dudbridge played in the 2005 World final against Taylor and was a member of the first ever Premier League crew. Since then he has struggled to hit those types of heights again.

His form dipped and he struggled with his technique and then he discovered he suffered from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The NHS explanation for this is that it is a common condition that causes pain, numbness and a tingling sensation in the hands and fingers. As you can imagine, this would hamper the technique of any dart player.

We have had players contacting us with the same problem as well as a host of other darts related injuries.  I genuinely believe that injuries are massively overlooked in darts due to its reputation of being a sport that requires little physical effort. Whilst that may be true when compared to the physical effort exerted in football or rugby for example, the repetitive strain injuries darts can cause can have a huge effect on not just your darts technique but also long term health issues.

I think some players thought it was some sort of April Fool joke when we talked about warm ups for example. You don’t need to jog around the Dog and Duck before a game but stretching the muscles can be of great benefit on a number of levels. Dudbridge lost to Anderson but the message he passed on about his injury was an important one.

Sunday night had some great games too. Hendo knocked out Chizzy and both Dolan and Caven played well. Jabba was up against the erratic Klassen. Wayne seemed to think Klassen should revert back to his speedier style. I’m not so sure but I agree he does need to re-think. He surely can’t start any game with any confidence with his scatter gun style of play. The History Maker was excellent too. Dolan is not one of the “fashionable” players so his performance went under the radar. If Barney or Anderson had hit a 97 average (they did) but coupled with 65% on the doubles and a 167 finish there would have been fanfares. As it’s Dolan, he didn’t even get an interview!

Tonight’s Games:
Ronnie Baxter v Ricky Evans
Devon Petersen v Mohammed Latif Sapup (P)
Kim Huybrechts v Ronny Huybrechts
Steve Beaton v Petersen/Sapup
Mervyn King v Darin Young

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Author: Paul Gillings ( paul@dartsperformancecentre.com )