The 2019 William Hill World Darts Championship is the 26th World Championship organised by the Professional Darts Corporation since it separated from the British Darts Organisation.
In the biggest overhaul since 2006, which saw 16 extra participants added, the number of participants will increase from 72 to 96, with the top 32 from the PDC Order of Merit being joined by the 32 highest ranked players on the PDC Pro Tour Order of Merit, plus 32 qualifiers from around the world, which will include 2 female darts players. The tournament will be played out over a total of 28 afternoon and evening sessions (a increase of six sessions on 2018) over the 20 day period with four rest days included for both Christmas and also New Year’s Eve with a total of 95 matches to be played.(wikipedia)
It will be the first Championship to be contested without 16-time World Champion Phil Taylor, who retired following the 2018 final. But the end of an era also also marks the beginning of a new one. This year’s tournament will also be the first where India makes its debut- a country not particularly known for its darting triumphs. The game is not even popular in the country to the extent that most people don’t even see it as a competitive sport yet, but just another bar game. All that starts to change now, or so does wish 33 year old Nitin Kumar from Coimbatore as he prepares to be the first ever to represent the billion strong nation at the biggest stage of the sport.
We at DYNT were able to catch him for a quick questionnaire in the middle of his busy practice sessions as the finals draws close.
How are you feeling to see yourself along with such big names?
I feel privileged to be among such great names. I will perform to prove that my name deserves to be there among them as well. I’m working towards that.
How are you preparing yourself for the first game against De Zwaan, who is a world match play Semifinalist?
Practice, practice and more practice. He’s someone who I think can be one of the world’s best within the next three years. I will have to play at my best against him.
You are all over the news as you can possibly come across Rob Cross if you advance. Any particular mindset for such a stage?
I’m not even thinking of the 2nd game against the World Champ. I’m taking it one round at a time. However, I’ll have to play at my best to even stand a chance against Rob Cross.
And finally, how this experience of yours will help the future of India in the sports?
I hope that players learn from this and don’t think that its a cake walk. You have to put in the work, you have to give it time and you have to sacrifice a lot. Its not for the faint hearted but I’m sure the lessons I learn, I’ll definitely be passing it on to everyone, I just hope they learn from it.
While Nitin prepares to realise his dream of going all the way and seeing the sport flourish in his country, you can follow the link to watch the 6th International BRC Darts Championships that was held in Kolkata in 2018, to get a feel of the current Indian dart scenario.
Note- The PDC World Championship 2019 is scheduled to be held this year from 13th Dec to 1st January; and though it is not televised in India, you can catch it live online on its official website.
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