Column #219 Chicago’s Isen Veljic wins Virginia Beach Qualifier!
February 4, 2006
Chicago’s Isen Veljic wins Virginia Beach Qualifier!
As I write, the March to the Mohegan and the first million dollar payday in the history of the sport of darts is en route to Atlanta, Georgia. The Virginia Beach qualifier is now a half-day old and the result, after a grueling day of battle among 144 entrants, is clear…
The British are hereby advised that not all Americans are named Jim, John and Joe – and the newest unusual name and rising star in the darting world is no longer Jelle Klassen. In a lopsided final event in front of the ESPN cameras, Richmond, Virginia’s Cabell Staples when down 4-1 to Chicago’s not yet thirty year old Isen Veljic.
Indiana’s John Adams and Pennsylvania’s Robert Walton were disappointed in the semi-finals. Others throwing their way to the top sixteen included Mark Hinds, DW Hickman, Donny Joe, Dayton Strawbridge, Neal Adam, Jeff Adam, Jerry Oakley, Brian Massey, Wilbert Tan, Chris Linkous, Dave Harrison, and Bruce “Brewsky” Cottrell. Raising eyebrows was Roxanne Henderson who, in making the top thirty-two, finished highest among the females who entered the qualifier.
Also raising eyebrows – and causing more than the usual stir among darters in attendance and those following the event by telephone and text messaging – was the surprising absence of Johnny Kuczynski, Ray Carver, and Darin Young. The word is (and I caution that this has not been completely substantiated) that at least two of them are in Detroit for some sort of a World Series of Darts (WSOD) promotion to be either taped or aired today during the Super Bowl. One rumor has Kuczynski and Carver shooting darts with a couple of ex-NFL quarterbacks.
As expected, the Tidewater Area Darting Association (TADA) did a brilliant (this is a British word) job of staging the event. Credit is due to TADA Tournament Director Chris Bender for his usual attention to detail. The ESPN crew was present throughout the day. They filmed the entire semi-final and final events and conducted numerous player interviews during the morning and afternoon.
Needless to say, Veljic was pleased with the day’s result. “It feels great, fantastic, honestly,” he said. “I’m overjoyed. I came down here from Chicago to win, and I believed in myself the whole time. I have a tattoo of a Chinese symbol that means “believe” on my left shoulder, and I also wear a bracelet on my left wrist – right where I hold my darts – which says ‘believe.’ So every time I look down at my darts, it’s a constant reminder to believe in myself.”
BUT STAY TUNED to Dartoid’s World for continuing hot-off-the-press coverage of all of the WSOD qualifiers – the victories, the disappointments, the rumors and more – as the March to the Mohegan continues to rumble its way across America.
Next up, later today: Atlanta!
From the Field,
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