German Darts Diary: Day One

Red Dragon Darts

First a look back to Thursday. Because before darts, playing or press, comes travel.

The trip to Hildesheim started with a nearly 6 hour journey by train. I already noticed again how kind the German people are in public, something I would notice all weekend.

Very tired after a long travel I was very kindly welcomed by the woman who owned my apartment for the weekend.

It turned out to be a superb appartment with bath, balcony, huge couch and huge bedroom and kitchen. I then went to Dorado, a famous steakhouse in the centre where a lot of darts players like to go to as well.

This night I saw Danny Jansen and his dad have their meal there, as well as Daryl Gurney and James Wilson and it was incredible food.

Next was time to start the last Eurotour event of the year: the German Darts Championship. This day started with a 25 minute walk to the venue, which is in the middle of pretty much nowhere, a bit northern from Hildesheim.

I met the people from PDC Europe there in the smaller but very nice venue and found out I could do 8 interviews today and attempted to pick my choices wisely.

First up was Ryan Joyce against Boris Krcmar who actually played his first Eurotour event of the year, and managed to win his first game too as he beat Joyce 6-4!

We then saw Madars Razma try to secure his European Championship spot but he’ll have to wait now as he was edged out 5-6 by Martin Lukeman in a thriller.

2 time World Champion Scott Waites then faced George Killington in another thriller, in which Waites produced a perfect leg: his first on a PDC stage and the second one I witnessed in just 2 events after MVG’s in the WS Finals!

Waites then missed 4 matchdarts though and lost as Killington got his first Eurotour win.

Killington told me he was nervous for the interview as he isn’t used tot hem, but did a great job and had my longest interview of the day!

He said he’s probably been a bit unlucky with the results lately given how well he is playing, and that he will give Scott a drink or diner after he forgot to fistbump or congratulate him following the perfect leg.

Steve Lennon then comfortably saw off German debutant Marcus Kirchmann.
Alan Soutar then found some form, destroying the always dangerous Karel Sedlácek which put ‘Soots’ into the top 32.

Soutar told me he thinks Michael Smith, his next opponent, is one of the 2 best players in the world along with Luke Humphries.

Nico Kurz then got the crowd going as the German saw off a disappointing Dylan Slevin, before Darryl Pilgrim demolished Jeff Smith 6-1 with an average of almost 103.

As he told me ‘it is about time I played great and actually win the game’, as he’ll prepare for q- school in the upcoming months.

Final game of the afternoon saw Dutch American Jules van Dongen beat Hungary’s Patrik Kovacs. As JVD told me it is very difficult to be away from your family so often and that he is potentially moving over to Europe if he keeps his tourcard although he admitted there is still a lot of work to do.

Then it was time for a nice chicken burger before I went back to the Halle 39 for the evening session. First up was Dutch talent Gian van Veen as he saw off James Wilson 6-4 in a great game.

GVV was happy to see me and told me it was a very hard fought victory. Arron Monk then silenced the crowd with a hard fought win over Germany’s Florian Hempel.

Monk said it is frustrating to see the players he often beat in the youth system now be at a much higher place than him, but he does like to play Joe Cullen who turns out to be his next opponent.

James Wade then comfortably saw off Jelle Klaasen, before Daryl Gurney beat Vincent van der Voort 6-2, and told me he was happy with the win but that it did not feel as good as a 95 average.

Ricardo Pietreczko then secured his European Championship spot by a win over Mickey Mansell, as did fellow German Gabriel Clemens who beat Danny Jansen.

Clemens was disappointed to not see any German press but could appreciate my ‘sorry for not being German’ comment. Chris Dobey then survived a scare and edged out Lee Evans 6-5, surviving 3 matchdarts to stay with a chance of making the European Championship, while denying Steve Beaton that chance.

In the final game, Stephen Bunting came back from 2-5 down to edge out Jeffrey de Graaf 6-5.

The German crowd was amazing, especially in the evening session. The booing and whistling seems to be much less than a few years ago, and the amount of people in the crowd who had nice chats with me and wondered who I was, was very nice indeed!

Time for. SATURDAY !


Words and Images: Wim Blokpoel


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