Lasting for 18 days and featuring the best players in the world, the PDC Darts World Championships is the sport’s showpiece event. One of two world championships, the other being held by the BDO, the PDC World Championships have been held annually since 1994, when the sport split into two governing bodies. Phil Taylor remains the most successful world champion, winning the tournament on 16 occasions during his stellar career.
A new generation of players has emerged in recent years, as the sport continues its rapid growth in popularity throughout the world. No longer a game played solely by UK darts players, with a smattering of Dutch names, we’re now beginning to see competitors from around the globe making a name for themselves in the sport.
As we count down to this year’s event, to be held throughout December and culminating in the final on January 1st, let’s take a look at the leading contenders for this year’s title.
Michael van Gerwen
Reigning champion Michael van Gerwen has been tipped by many as the man who could challenge Taylor’s record, although with just three titles to his name the Dutchman has a long way to go. But in terms of the best player in the world right now, there aren’t many that come close to the 30-year old. While he’s been struggling with his form at the moment, van Gerwen has proven beyond doubt you should never ignore him in the big tournaments.
Those looking for a great value bet, Scotland’s Gary Anderson has shown he knows what it takes to win this tournament. The two-time champion beat Phil Taylor in the final in 2015 and 2016, and at around 10/1 in the latest darts betting odds, the 48-year old could be a very smart pick this year. Back injuries have plagued Anderson for much of this season, but the Flying Scotsman is expected to be back fighting fit in good time for the end-of-year showpiece.
One of the real stars of 2019 has been Rob Cross. The 28-year-old has won three premier events this year, climbing up to second in the world rankings in a great career year. Of course, 2018 was Cross’ real breakout season, one which ended with the Englishman winning the world championship in which he beat Phil Taylor in his final ever appearance. On current form, Cross definitely has to be one of the firm favorites heading into this year’s tournament.
“Darts” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by virginsuicide photography
He might not yet have won the world championship, but Peter Wright has proven to many that he has what it takes to win the sport’s most prestigious title. 2019 has been a great year for the colorful 49-year old, and the Scot’s recent loss in the Brisbane Open may end up being nothing more than a blip in an otherwise sensational year. At this stage in his career, and playing some of the best darts of his life, Wright may well feel this is his best chance of ever winning this tournament.
With everything up for grabs in this World Championship and with the top runners seemingly neck-and-neck, only time and a few darts will show us who’s worthy of adorning this year’s crown.
Pingback: The Sports Archives – 2020 Darts World Championships: Who are the Betting Favourites? - Mel's Sports Bar