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What to expect from Peter Wright one year on from his emotional World Championship triumph

Posted: 08.12.20 in Darts Performance Centre Blog category



It’s hard to believe it was almost a year ago that Peter Wright completed his life’s dream. A figure whose colourful mohawk, inked head and outrageous dress sense may indicate a sense of light-heartedness, produced a ruthless, business-like display to defeat Michael van Gerwen 7-3 and win his maiden World Darts Championship title.

‘Snakebite’, as he is known, had been there before, had faced the same opponent, but had tasted the bitter agony that accompanies losing a world final. 2014 was the year, and with van Gerwen an emerging talent, Wright couldn’t cope, losing to the Dutchman who became the youngest man to lift the trophy. Six years on, Wright would have his revenge, as Snakebite bit back.

“Champion of the World sounds amazing,” Wright said afterwards. “You should never give up, it doesn't matter how many times you get beaten. I've done it.”

That sense of achievement is one that is difficult to describe, and for 49-year-old Wright, winning a world title must have seemed like an unattainable goal. But to produce what he did in that final, and leave defending champion van Gerwen a husk of his usual self, required immense determination and a singular focus which many felt would’ve been beyond Wright before the tournament began.

12 months on, Snakebite is set to begin his title defence at the grand old age of 50, and while he is one of the favourites in the darts World Championship odds from Betfair, it’s safe to say that Wright will not be putting too much pressure on himself ahead of the tournament at Alexandra Palace.

As it stands, van Gerwen is the favourite with the bookies to take back his title, and it will be interesting whether Wright has the motivation to produce another deep run at Ally Pally, or if his mindset has been altered by the fact he finally got his hands on the famous World Championship trophy.

The upcoming edition of the World Darts Championship will have a different feel to it than usual, with a limited capacity crowd being admitted to the venue. The usual boisterous atmosphere of the tournament will make way for a more measured affair, with excessive singing and chanting not allowed due to coronavirus-enforced restrictions.

It will be interesting to see how that change in atmosphere affects players. In many ways, it could make Wright’s defence of his title that bit easier, given that the tournament may feel more akin to other events that the players take part in during the season, with smaller crowds and less noise. A packed Ally Pally would’ve given Snakebite a rapturous reception as defending champion, but the absence of the usual number of fans may just take the pressure off, allowing Wright to focus solely on darts rather than the clamour which would accompany his entrance as reigning world champion.

No matter how far Wright goes in the competition, he will always have last year’s triumph as a comfort to him when things don’t quite go his way. After years of trying, and years of stumbling along the way, Wright climbed his mountain and earned the glory all darts players dream of. As he gears up for Ally Pally once again, he may view this next World Championship campaign as a chance for a well-deserved lap of honour.

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