The two sides BDO World Championship were both set new benchmarks on Monday.
Paul Hogan and Mikuru Suzuki threw the best averages of the men’s and women’s tournaments respectively. The former came agonisingly close to the first BDO World Darts Championship nine-darter since Paul Lim’s famous effort three decades ago. A 97.51 average was still enough to send Adam Smith-Neale home, while Suzuki kept up her recent form with an 84.92 average to turn a one-set deficit against Maria O’Brien into a victory.
Another Monday winner was Nick Fullwell, who produced a strong performance to see off David Cameron. He’ll need more of the same to beat David Evans, who has made it to 14th seed on debut. Evans did enough to qualify for the UK Open earlier this year and has also beat Gary Anderson in a PDC floor event. The 30-year-old will feel equipped to beat Fullwell, but will be wary of the Midlands ace gaining momentum.
Nick Kenny springs into action on Tuesday as well, with the sixth seed playing against Dutch debutant Dennie Olde Kalter. That’s followed by another Dutch thrower in Sharon Prins. She meets Anastasia Dobromyslova, the three-time world champion. Dobromyslova has reached a final and two semi-finals in the last three seasons – can she go a step further this year, and scoop up a prize fund being bolstered by husband Tony Martin’s fundraising efforts?
Justin Hood, like Nick Fullwell, averaged 90 in an excellent opening win on Monday. There was also an unforgettable leg featuring six perfect darts, followed by busting a 60 checkout by hitting the treble 20 – a true World Darts Championship highlight. The Somerset ace will be out to cause third seed Richard Veenstra a major headache.