Luke Littler has taken darts by storm and can complete his stunning run by winning the world title
Luke Littler, the teenage darts sensation, can make more history on Wednesday by becoming the youngest player to win the World Darts Championship.
The 16-year-old Littler is on debut at the biggest event in the sport and has taken the tournament by storm with his unlikely run to the final at the Alexandra Palace in London, where he will face Luke Humphries
The unseeded player has already knocked out two former world champions in Raymond van Barneveld and Rob Cross, and guaranteed himself 200,000 pounds ($250,000) in prize money.
That will go up to 500,000 pounds ($630,000) if he can beat Humphries, who will become world No.1 following his own run to the final.
“It would be unbelievable to win this title. I set myself the target to win one game and be back after Christmas, and I’m still here,” Littler said. “I can’t even imagine lifting that trophy yet though. I’ve just got to stay focused, relax and be Luke Littler.”
Littler is already the youngest player to reach the final. Multiple champion Michael van Gerwen was the youngest to win the World Darts Championship in 2014 when he was 24.
Jelle Klaasen was 21 when he won the now defunct British Darts Organisation world title in 2006.
Littler won the world youth title last year and was already earning a big reputation within the sport. But his performances at the World Championship have taken many by surprise.
Win or lose against Humphries, he looks likely to be a contender for the biggest prizes in the future.
He has also seen his fame rise, making front-page headlines and picking up celebrity fans, such as Arsenal players Declan Rice and Aaron Ramsdale.
While his showmanship on the stage has proved popular with rowdy crowds at the tournament, his down to earth nature off it has added to his charm.
Speaking of his preparation for the final, he said he would stick to the routine that has served him well so far.
“In the morning I’ll go for my ham and cheese omelette, then later a pizza and then practice on the board,” he said.
Littler beat 2018 champion Rob Cross 6-2 in his semifinal on Tuesday while Humphries overcame Scott Williams 6-0.
Humphries was expected to go far in the tournament after winning three major titles in the space of two months leading up to the World Championship.
James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson
AP sports: https://apnews.com/sports
First appeared on www.sandiegouniontribune.com