February 6, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

Complete News World

The formidable Michael Smith hurled himself past Michael van Gerwen to claim his maiden darts title thanks to a 9-shooter

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After losing two finals, Michael Smith became the world darts champion for the first time in his career on Tuesday night. The 32-year-old Englishman, nicknamed Bully Boy, was undaunted by Dutch favorite Michael van Gerwen in a high-profile final and won 7-4. En route to his first world title, Smith has already racked up nine quadruples, only his second ever in a World Cup final.

Martin Delvaux

However, Van Gerwen was the front runner. The three-time world champion cruised to the final last month. Just ask Dimitri van den Bergh, who he had conceded 6-0 in the semi-finals. However, Smith maintained his opponent’s high form from the start. Indeed, when Van Gerwen narrowly missed a putt nine (a leg throw with a minimum of nine arrows) in the second set, Smith succeeded. Good for the second of nine all-time quarterbacks in a World Cup Final.

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In his typical energetic fashion, Van Gerwen reacted as if he was stung by a wasp on the following sets. Mighty Mike went back from 2-1 to 2-3 in no time, but then the former Dutch tile machine stopped. Van Gerwen suddenly began to miss the doubles and Smith missed no opportunity to punish his opponent’s sudden mistakes.

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The Englishman won in no fewer than four sets in a row and before Van Gerwen knew it, he was 6-3 in debt and one set from the abyss. The Dutchman managed to hold off the inevitable for a while, but Bully Boy finally grabbed his moment in the eleventh set. From 2-0 in legs, he went to 2-2. Then roll 180 twice and find the double on the second try. Smith has such a resounding revenge for losing the World Cup Final against Van Gerwen in 2019.

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In addition, the Briton became the first in the world rankings. The Englishman started the championship in fourth place, one place behind Van Gerwen. The 33-year-old Van Gerwen was aiming for a fourth world title at his sixth World Cup final, after those in 2014, 2017 and 2019. He was previously a losing finalist in 2013 and 2020.

Michael Smith: “The second set was exceptional”

The 32-year-old Smith played in his third World Cup final. In 2019 (then against Van Gerwen) and 2022, he was still plagued by the short end. Last year Peter Wright was very strong.

“It’s great,” said Smith. “I think I deserved it. The second set was exceptional. We both had a chance to finish 9 dart. Mike narrowly missed double twelve and I hit double twelve. After my Grand Slam win, I knew I had a chance to win the World Cup. And now I’m on The new No. 1 spot in the world.

“In the beginning I was playing really well,” said van Gerwen. “But at the end of the game, I let it down. Michael is a deserved winner.”

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