Darts World Cup: Wright takes second world title


Peter “Snakebite” Wright has secured the title at the Darts World Cup in London for the second time since 2020. The 51-year-old Scot prevailed 7-5 in the final against Englishman Michael Smith on Monday evening. “Bully Boy”, as Smith is called, not only set Wright’s world record the day before with 24 recordings of 180 points, but also set a new record in the title fights with a total of 83.

Always brightly dressed and coiffed, Wright won prize money of 500,000 pounds (around 595,000 euros) in London and the 25 kilogram Sid Waddell Trophy. Wright remains number two in the world rankings, but is coming very close to defending champion Gerwyn Price from Wales, who was dethroned in the quarter-finals, and could soon become the first in the rankings for the first time.

For Smith, the second World Cup final after 2019 was also lost – at that time he was defeated by Dutchman Michael van Gerwen 3: 7. The 31-year-old had previously shone and, with Price and Jonny Clayton (also from Wales), took two favorites out of the tournament. Smith is still waiting for his first major major title and has lost many important finals. The fact that the audience in the fully occupied Alexandra Palace stood by him wasn’t enough for the local hero in the end.

Both players show nerves at the beginning

The final of a high-class tournament, which, in addition to some world-class matches, was also characterized by the chaos caused by the coronavirus and the resulting game cancellations, started with many mistakes. In the first sentence, Wright and Smith threw an insane number of arrows past the double. In the meantime, both world-class players had a quota in the single-digit percentage range. Smith looked generally nervous and initially made a few mistakes.

From the third set onwards, the match became much more valuable. Smith suddenly hit the triple fields as in the previous rounds and after four sets had already played eleven shots with the maximum number of points of 180. On the other hand, veteran Wright changed darts again during the encounter, but left significantly more chances at the beginning than the day before at 6: 4 against compatriot Gary Anderson.

Wright shows class in the finish

The longer the game lasted, the more exciting it got. Slightly underdog Smith turned a 2-0 deficit into a 4-3 lead and looked more confident from set to set. After that, Wright improved again. A duel at eye level developed and the most exciting World Cup final in years. In the end there were 41 recordings with a maximum of 180 counters.

In the past twelve months, Wright has brought in more than twice as much prize money as any of the opponents. The Scottish one-off had previously won the World Matchplay, the second most important tournament in the world, as well as the Team World Cup together with John Henderson. Probably the closest World Cup game before the final was the quarter-finals against England’s Callan Rydz, when Wright struggled to win 5-4.

Darts-WM 2022 in London

Finale (“Best of 13” sentences):
Peter Wright (SCO/2) Michael Smith (ENG/9) 7:5
Semifinals (“Best of eleven” sentences):
Michael Smith (ENG/9) James Wade (ENG / 4) 6:3
Peter Wright (SCO/2) Gary Anderson (SCO/6) 6:4
Quarter-finals (“Best of nine” sentences):
Michael Smith (ENG/9) Gerwyn Price (WAL / 1) 5:4
James Wade (ENG / 4) Mervyn King (ENG/21) 5:0
Peter Wright (SCO/2) Callan Rydz (ENG) 5:4
Gary Anderson (SCO/6) Luke Humphries (ENG/19) 5:2
Round of 16 (“Best of seven” sentences):
Gerwyn Price (WAL / 1) Dirk van Duijvenbode (NED/17) 4:1
Michael Smith (ENG/9) Jonny Clayton (WAL/8) 4:3
James Wade (ENG / 4) Martijn Kleermaker (NED) 4:0
Mervyn King (ENG/21) Raymond Smith (AUS) 4:3
Peter Wright (SCO/2) Ryan Searle (ENG/15) 4:1
Callan Rydz (ENG) Alan Soutar (SCO) 4:1
Luke Humphries (ENG/19) Chris Dobey (ENG/30) 4:3
Gary Anderson (SCO/6) Rob Cross (ENG/11) 4:3

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Darts World Cup: Wright takes second world title