It’s better perhaps than any hole-in-one witnessed on a golf course. Greater, even, than any 147 maximum break in snooker or 300-point game in bowling. Michael van Gerwen’s 17 perfect darts during his 2013 World Darts Championship semi-final against James Wade are the stuff of legend. A remarkable feat of sporting excellence.
Put into perspective, there have been over a 100 hole-in-ones in golf, over 50 televised 147s, countless perfect bowling games and 43 televised 9-dart finishes.
That van Gerwen hit the 44th of those before going within millimetres of hitting another in the very next leg – is special. That it was in the semi-finals of the world championships makes it doubly so.
He is one of eight of the world’s top darts players heading to Dubai for the fourth Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters, which takes place on May 26 and 27 at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium at Irish Village. Given Michael van Gerwen’s above credentials, it’s perhaps little wonder that he’s the reigning champion, returning to the city to defend his title this year.
But even if you don’t know your arrows from your Annie’s Attic (that means a double one, apparently), the darts is a big social event on Dubai’s calendar. Here’s our top five reasons to check it out.
1. The atmosphere is buzzing
Unlike some other sports that require the crowd to stay silent as competitors get ‘in the zone’, darts is a boisterous event. The Dubai Darts Masters is no different, and many people come just for the night out.
2. Peter Wright’s ever-changing hair
Peter ‘Snake Bite’ Wright is as well-known for his precise throwing ability as he is for his constantly changing mane. His signature Mohawk is coloured, covered in glitter and shaved into an intricate design. We’re excited to see what he rocks up with this year.
3. “ONE HUNDRED AND EIIIIGHTY”
It’s literarily worth turning up just to hear the man on the mic shout this as the music is cranked up.
4. You’ll see the world’s top players in action
Reigning champion Michael van Gerwen will be joined by two-time world champion Gary Anderson, one of the greatest players of all time Phil “The Power” Tailor and current world number three, Adrian Lewis. Raymond van Barneveld, James Wade, Stephen Bunting and Peter Wright complete the line-up. If you know your darts, you’ll know that these guys are in close competition, and if you’re a first-timer prepare for a nail-biting finish.
5. It’s an outdoor event
Make the most of the outdoors with one of the last open-air sporting events of the season. Dubai Duty Free Tennis stadium plays host to the fantastic social event – the fact that it’s played outside adds an extra element to the game as well as the party atmosphere.
Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters 2016