Wright wins PDC World Championship by avenging 2014 final loss to Van Gerwen

By Sports Desk January 01, 2020

Peter Wright became the oldest first-time winner of the PDC World Championship as the 49-year-old avenged his 2014 loss to Michael van Gerwen in a 7-3 victory in Sunday's final.

Van Gerwen beat Wright 7-4 six years ago for the first of his three world titles but on Wednesday the Scotsman exacted a measure of revenge over the reigning champion.

He went into a 2-0 lead and although Van Gerwen fought back to level, the Dutchman's poor finishing allowed his opponent to retake control.

Wright hit double 10 at the third time of asking to seal the victory, becoming the second oldest PDC World Championship winner of all time behind Phil Taylor, whose last title came at the age of 52.

"You should never give up," Wright told Sky Sports.

"I used to get beat by Michael, Phil Taylor, Gary Anderson all the time. Gerwyn Price comes through, all these players kept getting in my way, but I've done it."

It was Wright who claimed the opening set after Van Gerwen narrowly missed the bull for a 170 checkout, and the veteran broke in the next set to go 2-0 up.

Van Gerwen roared back in the third, opening with a 180 and winning the set in 37 darts, and he levelled the match at 2-2 after Wright had failed to hit tops to move 3-1 up.

In a crucial fifth set, Van Gerwen was punished for missing eight darts at doubles and Wright won the sixth without dropping a leg to seize the initiative.

More errant finishing from Van Gerwen allowed Wright to move with one set of victory, the pressure clearly telling as the defending champion tried to walk off when he incorrectly thought there was an interval.

In the 10th set, Van Gerwen missed double 12 for what would have been a nine-darter, yet for once this was not to be his night, Wright finally hitting double 10 after his first two darts just missed the target.

Related items

  • Should chess, checkers, poker, speed eating be considered sports? Should chess, checkers, poker, speed eating be considered sports?

    It’s laughable hearing people say chess is not a sport. They think calling it a sport would be to give it a status it does not deserve. I'd like to speak to the Master of Sports (or whoever makes these decisions). Before new activities surface, we need to determine the ones we have now. What really makes an activity a sport?

    Britannica defines sports as a “physical or intellectual contest”. It mentions an example. “Mountain climbing is a sport if one understands the activity as a contest between the climber and the mountain or as a competition between climbers to be the first to accomplish an ascent.”

    By this definition, chess is a sport; an intellectual contest. I remember having to do it at school. It was a new component and teachers had to sell it to parents. They promoted it as a mental exercise. Playing chess on Wednesdays pushed me to think critically, develop strategies to prevent/fix problems and to be very observant. It amplified my concentration. Like a hawk, I would focus on my opponents every move. Most times the atmosphere was quiet and tense; similar to a match between World Champion Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian. The drive to win was undeniable because defeat took a toll on me mentally.

    Ballet takes a lot of physical and mental effort. Ballerinas try to out-dance their competitors with as much expression as possible. Quality execution is important so dancers train hard to get in top form. In ballet, your body and mind are big factors. The Journal of Sports Medicine recorded a study by Dr James A. Nicholas. It inspected 61 activities and ranked ballet most physically and mentally demanding.

    Another controversial sport is esports— I don’t know why.

    It’s definitely a mental contest. Video games like ‘Fortnite’ and ‘League of Legends’ are unique, entertaining, free and accessible, attracting huge player bases from across the world. The multiplayer aspect to these games makes awareness crucial. Gamers have a handful of responsibilities like giving instructions to teammates, staying alive, looking out for the bad guys and finding rewards or tokens.

    Is speed-eating a sport too? Yes, it is, because it can be described as an intellectual contest. Devouring pounds of food like hotdogs, pizza or doughnuts requires major concentration to avoid gagging. These weapons of mass digestion also aim to eat more than each other within record time. That way, they can claim themselves the best in the sport.

    There is also a World Series of Poker. Poker, a game that mixes the idea of skill and chance in very interesting ways. In poker, while the aim is simply to bet that the value of your hand is greater than the other hands around the table, there is a major mental element involved.

    The way bets are placed on hands requires each player to understand what hands are out there that could beat theirs, who has them, who might be bluffing, and of course, minimizing your losses until your opportunity to cash in comes up.

    It definitely is a sport in my books and involves some of the more brilliant minds out there. Over the years, the sport has developed a huge following and includes what you would call superstars, who cash in on big sponsorship deals and the like.

    Then there is darts, curling, Equestrian, Synchronized Swimming, Diving, Croquet and the list goes on and on.  

    I hate to break it to you guys but someone has to. There are more sports out there than basketball, cricket, football, and track and field. Viewership gives sports priority. So only the viewer/fan can truly qualify an activity as a sport. Widen your horizons maybe?

    Please share your thoughts on Twitter (@SportsMax_Carib) or in the comments section on Facebook (@SportsMax). Don’t forget to use #IAmNotAFan. Until next time!

  • Gary's Woe-Fi - Anderson out of PDC Home Tour due to internet struggles Gary's Woe-Fi - Anderson out of PDC Home Tour due to internet struggles

    Gary Anderson has pulled out of the PDC's Home Tour competition as the WiFi connection at his home is not strong enough.

    Two-time world champion Anderson was due to compete in the event, which was set up by the PDC as a way to entertain sports-starved fans amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    All players with a tour card were eligible to participate in the Home Tour, taking place over 32 nights, but Anderson has withdrawn due to concerns over his internet speed.

    Speaking to The Sun, he said: "I was up for it but when we did tests of my WiFi, it's just not reliable enough.

    "It doesn't surprise me. I struggle to pay bills online in my house, it's really frustrating.

    "I did want to take part. It would have been something different to try and win."

    The competition, which starts on Friday, sees four players compete in a round-robin format in best-of-nine-leg matches. The winner from each group goes into the next round.

  • Coronavirus: PDC launches 32-night Home Tour to entertain sports-starved fans Coronavirus: PDC launches 32-night Home Tour to entertain sports-starved fans

    The PDC has launched a 32-night competition in which the world's best darts players will compete from their own homes.

    Fans starved of live sports as a result of the coronavirus pandemic will be able to tune in to top-level darts with players competing via video calls in the PDC Home Tour, the first-ever home-staged event.

    The PDC said in a statement that all tour card holders have been granted an opportunity to feature. The nightly format will see four players face one another once in a best-of-nine legs format with a winner crowned each night.

    After the conclusion of the initial 32 nights of the league phase, the 32 group winners will advance to the second phase of the competition.

    PDC chairman Barry Hearn said: "Firstly, I would like to thank all our incredible NHS staff who continue to save lives in the most difficult circumstances, we all owe an immense amount of gratitude to our key workers.

    "It gives me great excitement that we are able to deliver live darts to fans in these unprecedented times.

    "We've spent the last few weeks planning and looking at what is possible, and I'm delighted to be able to present a concept which gives all tour card holders the opportunity to take part.

    "The PDC Home Tour will provide a regular supply of live sport to fans, showcasing the talent and unique characters of our players to both existing and new audiences.

    "The event will also give players a chance to play competitive darts in this down period in preparation for the return to normal action, whenever that may be."

    The PDC announced the new format following the success of its 'Darts At Home' in which Nathan Aspinall and Stephen Bunting were among nine players to feature in a mini-league format on the body's Facebook page and YouTube channel.

    The outbreak of COVID-19 has wreaked havoc with the sporting calendar. In the United Kingdom, the Premier League has been suspended since last month, while Wimbledon and The Open were both cancelled.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.