“If I had lost I would have emigrated to Vegas”

The wise words of darts player Wayne Mardle, who was given a run for his money by leading female arrers thrower Anastasia Dobromyslova in last month’s Grand Slam of Darts. If she’d triumphed, she would have been the first woman to beat a man in a televised match.

She didn’t; Mardle won 5-4, but the closeness of the match clearly rankles from the evidence of this Guardian interview.

“I’m not joking. I would have emigrated to Vegas and you would have never seen me again. It would have been unbearable — especially on the exhibition scene. Every time it would be the same old story: ‘There’s a woman here, Wayne, that fancies her chances against you!’ I would never have heard the end of it. A lot of male players actually wanted me to lose — those who think I’m too brash. But most serious followers of the game understood how important it was that I beat her.

Thank goodness darts’s noble tradition has been upheld. Incidentally, Dobromyslova will be competing in this year’s PDC World Championship, starting this weekend – only the second-ever woman to do so.

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