WDF World Darts Championship 2022: Everything You Need To Know
Darts fans, rejoice! Things don’t get much bigger and better than the WDF World Darts Championship if this is your favourite sport. It’s great that the tournament is even going ahead, as there were concerns over cancelling the event after it was postponed from January to April this year due to the pandemic.
Thankfully, however, everything is set in stone and we’re ready to witness the very best darts players compete for glory (and cash prizes) during the WDF World Darts Championship in 2022.
This is one of the best tournaments of the year to see the greatest darts players duke it out at a prestigious event and a great location in the UK.
As you might know, the tournament was not held at all in 2021 because of the coronavirus, but it did take place in 2020 and was won by Wayne Warren over Jim Williams 7-4 in the final. Warren is the oldest player in the tournament’s history to take home a world title.
2019 was the last time that the darts tournament was hosted and televised at the Lakeside Country Club, as the 2020 version was held in London.
Male and female darts players will compete in separate events during the World Darts Championships with differing prize funds available.
The top 16 players will be seeded and advance straight through to the second round of the tournament, while the next best-ranked 16 players according to the WDF world rankings will have to qualify via round one.
Brian Raman from Belgium is currently ranked as the number one seed in the men’s draw, just ahead of Thibault Tricole from France and 2020 champion Wayne Warren from Wales.
In the women’s field, Deta Hedman is the top-seeded player, with current champion Mikuru Suzuki in second place and Beau Greaves in third.
Three-time World Champion Martin Adams will be the oldest player to compete at 65 years old, as there aren’t so many sports where it’s possible to participate at the highest level. Yes, we know he’s not jumping seven feet in the air and dunking a basketball, but it’s still impressive.
Conversely, Luke Littler will be the youngest at only 14 (no post-match beers for him!) and absolutely has a bright future ahead of him in the sport if he’s already in a major tournament at such a young age.
Semi-finals matchups will be the best of nine sets and the finals will be the best of 11.
Men’s Prize Fund Total: £200,000
Semi-final losers: £12,500
Quarter-final losers: £6,500
Last 16 losers: £3,250
Second-round losers: £2,000
First-round losers: £1,000
Women’s Prize Fund Total: £87,500
Semi-final losers: £6,500
Quarter-final losers: £3,250
Last 16 losers: £2,000
First-round losers: £1,000
Opening night headliners and tournament favourites
The men’s and women’s fields remain quite open this year, but according to some bookmakers, there are a few favourites starting to emerge for the World Darts Championship in 2022.
For the men, Connor Scutt seems to be the top pick at 8/1, then James Richardson also at 8/1, and Jim McEwan at 9/1 in third. Previous tournament winner, Wayne Warren, is 13th at 20/1 and top-seeded Brian Raman is 9th at 18/1.
For the women, Mikuru Suzuki is the favourite at 6/4, then Beau Greaves at 2/1, and Corrine Hammond third at 10/1. Top-seeded Deta Hedman is fourth at 14/1.
The women’s field is a little less interesting for this year’s World Darts Championship with the news that two title favourites, Lisa Ashton and Fallon Sherrock, will both not be competing. Ashton was competing in the PDC World Tour and wasn’t able to qualify for the WDF event, while the reasons as to why Sherrock won’t play remain a mystery for now.
Also missing in the men’s field are Scotland’s Ross Montgomery and Belgium’s Mario Vandenbogaerde.
These are the opening night matchups on Saturday, April 2nd:
R1 – Martin Adams vs. Jarred Cole
R1 – John Scott vs. Johnny Haines
R1 – Paula Jacklin vs. Rhian O’Sullivan
R1 – Ben Hazel vs. Haupai Puha
R1 – Andreas Harrysson vs. Laszlo Kadar
R1 – Amanda Harwood vs. Marjolein Noijens
R1 – Jim McEwan vs. Landon Gardiner
R1 – Darlene van Sleeuwen vs. Priscilla Steenbergen
R1 – Mark Barilli vs. Rory Hansen
R1 – Mark Graham vs. Dave Prins
R1 – Suzanne Smith vs. Jo Clements
R1 – Paul Hogan vs. Justin Thompson
Of those matchups, the most interesting will be Martin Adams vs. Jarred Cole, as Adams is a three-time World Darts Champion and certainly has loads of experience and cunning at 65 years of age. Jarred Cole, at 21 years of age, may have a few new tricks up his sleeve that are not known to Adams, but remains a bit of a wild card to progress to the finals.
For the women, Paula Jacklin vs. Rhian O’Sullivan is perhaps the most intriguing first-round match. Both have had a lot of practice in competing in major tournaments over the years, but have never had quite the success that is expected. However, this looks like the year that both O’Sullivan and Jacklin will look to advance further than they’ve ever reached in their career.
Englishman Connor Scutt vs. Canadian Shawn Burt in the first round on Sunday, 3rd April, will be one to mark down on the calendar. While Burt is a fine player and is no pushover by any means, there has been a lot of talk about Scutt in recent months. In 2021, he finished second at the British Open and reached the semis of the Italian Grand Masters, but we just feel he’s bound for big things at the WDF World Darts Championship.
Who can win it all?
Despite winning at the 2020 tournament, there’s not much buzz going on about Wayne Warren. This might play exactly into his hands, as we know he’s got the skills but being somewhat in the shadows is not the worst. The less pressure on you, the better, so somehow it seems plausible that Warren will take home the trophy from the 2022 WDF World Darts Championship. And hey, if he doesn’t win, at least he’s making the finals.
For the women, it’s hard not to go to Mikuru “The Miracle” Suzuki for the same reason as Warren. Being the current champion just automatically sets you apart from the field, and even if there is a lot of pressure on Suzuki to do it all again, it certainly feels like she’s up to the challenge and won’t crumble when it gets tough.
After winning her first title, Suzuki is becoming somewhat of a celebrity in her home country of Japan and is ready to add more trophies to her shelf, as she explains in an interview. “There were fans waiting for me at the airport holding a banner. That’s when it first hit me, the scale of what I had achieved — it was a dream come true,” said Suzuki. “Being called world champion is special but I don’t want to stop at one world title, I want to win many more.”
Suzuki even admitted that she “sucked at it” when first trying darts at the age of 26, but now at 37 years old, Suzuki went from working in a department store to winning World Darts Championships in the blink of an eye. “Darts has a much cooler image now. I would like to be able to inspire other women in Japan to take it up,” added Suzuki.
Schedule for the UK
The 2022 WDF World Darts Championship will take place from April 2nd to 10th at the Lakeside Country Club, Frimley Green, UK.
Viewers in the UK can watch all the exciting darts action on either Eurosport 2 or Quest.
Author: Joe Garland