Michael Van Gerwen previews World Darts Championship
Darts’ latest breakout star Luke Littler celebrated his victory over Christian Kist on Wednesday night by nipping into a local takeaway and enjoying a post-match kebab. Being 16, the teenager was not able to celebrate his overnight success by popping champagne, though he will be hoping to enjoy many more triumphant nights if he continues on his upward trajectory.
Having been tipped for success by Phil Taylor before even throwing a dart, there was an aura of optimism around Littler’s appearance at the World Darts Championship. However, ‘The Nuke’ did not disappoint in a performance dubbed by many as one of the best debuts in the history of the competition.
Littler showed maturity beyond his years when quickly finding his rhythm up against seasoned opponent Kist, going on to win nine of his 11 legs and posting an average of 106.12 – the highest of any debutant at Alexandra Palace.
With seven 180s, Littler quickly gained the support of the lively crowd and chants of ‘you’ve got school in the morning’ did not prove to be any form of distraction. If the teen is able to continue in this rich vein of form then there is no reason why he cannot target a shock victory at Ally Pally.
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Littler is not able to celebrate similarly to his rivals given his age, though he did provide a glimpse of how he would mark such success following his victory on Wednesday night. A picture of the breakthrough star emerged on social media showing him enjoying a kebab later that night, having already hinted to Sky Sports that he could treat himself before heading to bed.
Following his sensational performance, Littler explained: “ I can’t believe how quickly I settled in. I was a bit nervous going to the stage but as soon as I found my rhythm I was in. If I average 106 in every game from now on, I’ve got a chance. All the nerves are out of the way now. This ranks at the top. It was crazy to see little kids with my own top on.
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“It was a massive experience. The crowd were always singing. I’m glad they were on my side and it helped me get over the line even more. I couldn’t sleep on Tuesday night as I was so excited for this match.
“Walking on, I was nervous but when I stepped onto the stage, I said: ‘Wow.’ I didn’t want to go into my own shell. I wanted to be myself and I did. I will treat myself to a kebab, get myself some bottles of Coke and bottles of Fanta.”
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