Column #HR273 Well ADO, it’s damn sure broke. Now, FIX IT!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Column HR273
Well ADO, it’s damn sure broke.  Now FIX IT!

As the World Darts Federation’s World Cup XIX said goodbye to Cluj-Napoca, Romania, it was the end of a historic event.  The men’s overall gold went to the Netherlands by 3 points over Wales (90-87). This was only the second time in World Cup history where a nation won overall gold without winning gold in any individual event – and never made it to any finals (the last time being 1993 in Las Vegas when Wales took the overall title although Kerry Morgan did make the finals of the singles).

It was also the first time an Asian women (Mikuru Suzuki) won the Singles and only the second time for any Asian to win any gold.  Nicky Virachkul took singles gold in 1979. Nicky, from Thailand, played and lived in America.

Overall, the Netherlands built a big lead in the singles (+5 points) and the doubles (+36 points) that withstood the Welsh 4-person team’s win worth a whopping 58 points (but, alas, 3 points shy of the overall win). Had Welshmen Nick Kenny won his singles against Australia’s Peter Machen in the semis instead of losing 6-3 Wales would have been the champs. Machen would lose in the finals against Darren Herewini of New Zealand 7-6.  Canada’s Jeff Smith, the defending singles champion, would fall in the quarter finals to the Netherland’s Martijn Kleermaker 5-3.

With Herewini winning the singles it was the first time since 1979 that a player other than one from Europe had won a singles (the last being Virachkul). In the men’s pairs it was “Oh Canada” as Dave Cameron and Jeff Smith rolled to an easy 6-2 over England Scott Mitchel and Daniel Day.

Then there was the Lady’s World Cup which really is the Women’s World Championship.  Last year, at the BDO “Not Really World Championships” a female Tsunami named Mikuru Suzuki swept in from Japan. As the event wore on, she became “Miracle” Mikuru Suzuki.  There’s no report of a tsunami arriving in Cluj-Napoca or even the Hurricane Flag flying. Nevertheless “Miracle” Suzuki went through the women’s field like the Old Dart Coach does a “peel and eat shrimp and prime rib buffet.”

Suzuki’s performance overshadowed England’s Ladies overall win over Japan for the overall gold 132-100.   In the singles Suzuki went (4-0, 4-0, 4-0, 4-1, 4-0, 4-1, 5-2) before she destroyed the defending World Cup champion Vicky Pruim (Sweden) 6-0. In the finals she met “The Queen” Deta Headman of England winning 7-3.  Those three legs where the most Suzuki had lost in 9 matches. There’s a great chance she was smiling all the way.

In the pairs Mikuru Suzuki and Mayumi Ouchi where just as dominating on their way to the finals 4-0, 4-0, 4-0 until Canada’s Dianne Gobeil/ Darlene van Sleeuwen extended them to 4-2 in the quarters. In the semis Australia’s Kewish/Smyth got within one leg of winning, losing 5-4. The final was a stroll in the park as Japan blasted the surprising good Czechoslovakian pair of Jitka Cisarova and Alena Gregurkov 6-1.  The Czech pair reached the finals by blowing though England’s Lorraine Winstanley and Fallen Sherrock 5-0. The English ladies won the team event with a 9-4 win over Australia.

Overall, except for Jeff Smith’s and David Cameron’s doubles win it was a disappointing World Cup for North America.  This was Canada’s first gold since 1989 when the four- person team of Bob Sinnaeve, Rick Bisaro, Tony Holyoake and Albert Anstey won out. Overall, Canada’s men would finish 4th only 8 points behind England for the overall joint bronze.  The men of the USA would finish 10th taking home nary a medal. USA’s “Chainsaw” Joe Chaney would lose 16 going to 8 for the best finish for the Stars and Stripe (although Jim Widmayer was in last 32 with an asterisk).

One of the “dangers” of the World Cup is the lack of fan and player courtesy. They just don’t know any better. Widmayer, not known as a whiner, posted a comment. “Played well most of the day with my first 3 matches all in the 80s – 4-0, 4-0 and 4-1. My last 32 match wasn’t as good. I let something get to me and it was a major distraction that I should have called an official for. The players on the left of me kept coming into my lane on the way back from the board, brushing up against me a few times during my throw. I pointed it out to them when we were warming up and they continued to do so. I had to either stop my throw or step back many times when I was up to throw my darts. I guess it’s my fault for not getting an official to watch the match. Lost 4-1 to a good player from the Netherlands.”

The Canadian women have yet to garner a gold in the 18 previous World Cups. The closest they got this time was when Dianne Gobeil lost in top 32 to Norway’s Veronica Simonsen 4-2. In the pairs Dianne Gobeil/ Darlene van Sleeuwen made it to the quarter finals losing to the champs from Japan. In the women’s team event Canada lost in the semifinals to eventual winner England 9-1. Canada would collect a joint bronze in the team event.  The Canadian women would finish 5th overall.

The USA Women would end up 10th overall, shut out of any medal since the late Stacy Bromberg took singles gold in 2009. Cali West reached the last 16 losing to Chris Savvery of Wales 4-3.  Robin Curry was top 32 when she ran into Mikuru Suzuki. Four nil, thank you. The USA only had one pair (Stacy Pace and Marlise Kiel) in top 32. They lost 4-3 to France. The 4-person team reached top 32 where they got hammered 9-3 by the powerful darting nation of South Korea.

Unlike many events there is no combination of men’s and women’s points to crown the best darting nation. The Old Dart Coach crowns England with 205 points the premier “amateur” Champions nation. They finish well ahead on points over Australia (151) and “Oh Canada” (125).

One regular contributor to this space advanced the proposition that the USA was not sending its best players.  While that may be true the fact is players knew in advance what it took to make the team. While some may disagree with the method of selecting the team, including the ODC, the rules are the rules. If they don’t work (as they appear not to) change them.  It’s not about being a good sport or playing along with the gang. It’s about winning, and it’s damn sure time that the USA got back to winning.

As American businessman “Bert” Lance said, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”  Well ADO, it’s damn sure broke. Now, FIX IT!

“Meanwhile, someone asked, “Who won the PDC BoyleSports World Grand Prix?”

“I don’t care.”

“You’re apathetic.”

“No, I’m not. I just don’t care.”

Stay thirsty my friends.

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Howie Reed
The one and only Howie Reed (the Old Dart Coach) goes back decades with the legends of our sport - he knows where the skeletons are buried. Just ask any of the ADO and WDF old-timers! His widely popular column, Toeing the Oche, is a must-read.