Sherrock makes history for women at world darts championship

London (AFP) –


Fallon Sherrock believes she is capable of beating any male darts player after making history by becoming the first woman to win a match at the PDC world championship.

Roared on by the London crowd on Tuesday, the 25-year-old came from behind to beat 77th-ranked Ted Evetts.

The historic win came two days after Japan's Mikuru Suzuki, the only other female player in the first-round draw, came agonisingly close to beating James Richardson.

Sherrock, only the fifth woman to play at the event, had secured one of two guaranteed places for female players in the 96-strong field that were introduced by darts supremo Barry Hearn.

She recovered from losing the opening set to overcome 22-year-old Evetts 3-2, scoring six maximum 180s in the first-round contest at London's Alexandra Palace.

"I'm buzzing! I can't believe I've made history tonight... done it for the girls, that was amazing," tweeted the English player.

Sherrock, whose win trended on social media, became an overnight star in Britain, making a series of appearances on morning TV and radio shows.

"If I can keep on hitting the doubles then who's to say I can't keep going and beat any man?" she told BBC Radio on Wednesday.

"I feel I've always had the game but us women have never had the opportunity to prove it. Last night I proved to myself and everyone else that women can play darts against the men and beat them."

Sherrock, who will now play 11th seed Mensur Suljovic in the second round on Saturday, said she hoped her victory would encourage more women to take up darts.

"My hope is it inspires more girls and ladies to take up the sport. It's competitive and fun and I would recommend anyone taking it up," she said.

Sherrock, the 2015 runner-up in the women's world championship run by the rival British Darts Organisation, said she had been inspired by the performance of Suzuki on Sunday.

She said her five-year-old autistic son, Rory, would be proud of her achievement and that the board that was used for her historic victory will be donated to an autistic charity to be auctioned off in order to raise funds.

The former hairdresser also revealed she suffers from a kidney problem that prevents her from drinking alcohol and previously caused her face to swell up, leading to abuse online after competitions.

Hearn said last month that darts was "gender-free".

"The structure of the PDC is all about embracing everyone," he told The Darts Show Podcast: "Men, women, fat, thin, Christian, Muslim, whatever you are, it doesn't make any difference. You're all level in the eyes of the god of the oche and that is the darts board."