BDO World Darts Championship: Day one round-up

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Mikuru Suzuki (pictured) was highly impressive as she dumped out four-time World Champion Lisa Ashton in straight sets on Saturday afternoon. Photography: Evertzomer NL

As day one of the 42nd BDO World Darts Championship got underway at the iconic Lakeside country club venue in Surrey, there was drama, high-quality darts, and a minor shock along the way. The event is aired on Quest and Eurosport, and overall it was a good production with the knowledge of Chris Mason and Paul Nicholson in the commentary box it was a breath of fresh air really, and the action didn’t leave us disappointed either.

Mikuru Suzuki caused a minor upset as she dumped out the four-time Ladies Champion Lisa Ashton as the Japanese star completed a straight sets win, Ashton did have her chances, but ultimately she was punished. Ashton will feel that she didn’t quite play her best, but Suzuki was tipped by many in the darting community to cause Ashton problems.

Opening up the tournament, Mark McGeeney, the no.1 seed faced off with the Dutchman Derk Telnekes. Telnekes did cause McGeeney a few problems early on as he piled in a whopping 145 finish in the very first leg, but McGeeney brushed him aside in a comfortable 3-1 victory. Warwickshire’s Nigel Heydon completed a marvellous comeback from the jaws of defeat as he denied New York’s Jim Widmayer a place in the first round. Heydon recovered from a two-set deficit to close out a 3-2 victory over the American.

Conan Whitehead sealed his place in the second round of the World Championship as he saw off Martin Phillips in what was a rollercoaster of emotions for both players. In the end, Whitehead took the match in overtime as the match went to a tie-break. The pair traded blows for well over an hour, but it’s Whitehead who progresses as he sets up a second round tie with no.1 seed Mark McGeeney.

Kicking off the evening session was an absolute barnstormer of a game on paper as Wes Newton faced Paul Hogan. For Newton, he never really seemed to get out out of first gear really as Hogan went on to record a 3-1 victory over the former World no.5 and Premier League star. For Hogan, he’ll face the no.13 seed Willem Mandigers in the first round.

Sharon Prins booked her place in the second round as she enjoyed a 2-0 success over Roz Bulmer. Prins produced the highest finish of the tournament thus far in the very first leg as she piled in a fantastic 156 checkout. In the very next leg, Prins missed D11 for a 142 checkout, and she was fantastic when it came to finish. Prins will face Mikuru Suzuki in the second round, which could be exciting to see. As for Bulmer, kudos to her for even participating in the event, Roz has just been undergoing chemopherapy in late December and just being up there and competing just shows the kind of person that she is. My thoughts go out to Roz and all of her family at this tough time.

Justin Thompson booked his place in the first round of the BDO World Championship as he managed to secure an assuring 3-0 victory over fellow Aussie and friend Mal Cumming. It was a fantastic display from Thompson as he produced the performance of the day it has to be said. An average of 91.17 and 50% sums up what was a great platform to build on heading into his match with the no.5 seed Michael Unterbuchner. Thompson never looked back after the first set as he averaged 104.86 as it set him on his way to a great victory.

Rounding off the days action, we were treated to a thrilling encounter featuring the no.4 seed Wesley Harms and the legend that is Tony O’Shea. O’Shea responded perfectly as he lost the opening set, a 120 checkout put O’Shea 2-1 ahead in sets, but Harms came back to take the fourth set 3-1 before seeing off the job in the deciding set. Bit, what an effort from O’Shea who’s been on the path to recovery after a year away from the Lakeside stage. O’Shea appeared at 17 BDO World Championships on-the-trot before missing out in 2018, which O’Shea admitted it killed him.

BDO World Darts Championship: Day one RESULTS

Mark McGeeney 3-1 Derk Telnekes

Mikuru Suzuki 2-0 Lisa Ashton

Nigel Heydon 3-2 Jim Widmayer

Conan Whitehead 3-2 Martin Phillips

Paul Hogan 3-1 Wes Newton

Sharon Prins 2-0 Roz Bulmer

Justin Thompson 3-0 Mal Cuming

Wesley Harms 3-2 Tony O’Shea

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