A stunning nine darts gave Michael Smith faith that he could win the World Championship.

Michael Smith said that his stunning nine-dart finish in the World Championship final made him believe he could beat Michael van Gerwen and secure a first place finish.

The 32-year-old, who was a two-time runner-up, including a painful defeat to Peter Wright 12 months ago, achieved darts perfection in the second set and continued to produce stunning scores, winning one of the biggest finals ever 7-4.

He became the second player to throw nine darts in a World Championship final, and the first player to make his place in the history books since Adrian Lewis in 2011.

While he took his first title on the third try, he also became world number one and avenged his final defeat in 2019 to Van Gerwen, who tried nine darter moments before Smith landed.

Smith said: “When he missed the double 12, I gave him a little low five and was like, ‘Now if I hit that, he’ll know I’m in the game and I’m not going to shy away from it.

“I lost the first set in my darts and I was like, ‘Is it going to happen again?’ I thought. But when that nine came in, it moved me and gave me the faith I needed, and also gave him the doubt that I wasn’t just here to get another runner-up prize. I’m here to play and do my best to win the World Championship.”

After losing the finals in the middle of eight consecutive major final losses in 2019 and 2022, Smith could be forgiven for thinking that a night like this would never happen.

But she stayed positive and knows all the heartache was worth it.

“I don’t think I can describe it,” he added.

“Finally I did it, with all the heartache I went through and I was finally able to lift the trophy and put the star on the shirt I knew I had worked hard for.

“Tonight wasn’t just for the World Championship, it was for world number one, so it’s special.”

Van Gerwen was the heavy favorite for the fourth title after a great year and an even better tournament where he averaged over 100 per round until the final.

But after playing his part in an incredible opening of the match, he staggered at the final hurdle, where Smith missed nine darter attempts before he could fire his own, his level plummeting, allowing his opponent to race into the promised land.

“I think he played really well, of course I got lucky, we all know that,” Van Gerwen told Sky Sports.

“It’s going to hurt if you don’t hit them, of course I wasn’t playing very well in the last two sets and I can only blame myself for that.

“It wasn’t what I wanted it to be, but it’s part of the game and you have to take it. That’s part of the job, it’s a good job when you celebrate, but it’s hard when you lose matches. I have to take it to the chin.

Leave a Comment