Column #CM33 A little more about the darts scene in Russia (an interview with Igor Dzasokhov)
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
A little more about the darts scene in Russia (an interview with Igor Dzasokhov)
Igor Dzasokhov is the chairman of the Euroasian Darts Cooperation (EADC) which among other tournaments organises in its member countries’ qualifiers for the PDC World Championship in London. This year – as two years ago – Aleksandr Oreshkin qualified. He faced and was defeated by Kevin Münch (winner of the Target Superleague Germany) in the preliminary round.
Q – Igor, the EADC is not the official Russian darts organisation…
A – No, in the EADC players from all the former Soviet republics, except Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are pooled and take part in qualifying Pro Tours – 12 countries in total. However, the most active are Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine. That is why we are not a Russian company – our HQ is in Cyprus.
Q – When was the EADC founded?
A – EADC was established in 2014 by Igor Druzhinin, Unicorn country manager in Russia, and me with the support of PDC.
Q – Do you know how the sport of darts came to Russia?
A – The UDSSR was introduced to the sport of darts by Unicorn 1989. A Unicorn representative and several top players, including John Lowe, visited our country on my invitation to promote both the game and the products of the company. During that visit, John took part in a TV show at which he demonstrated dart throwing techniques and played several legs against journalists.
Q – When I look at the WDF rankings there are a lot of young players from Russia. Is youth darts supported in Russia?
A – Yes, young darts players get support. There are coaches who work with children and, most importantly, there is funding. However, when those kids grow up, they have to travel to take part in tournaments at their own cost, which is too expensive for young Russians. This is the reason why you don’t see to many adult players from Russia.
Q – How well known is Anastasia Dobromyslova in Russia and did she help the sport?
A – It is great having our country’s own Champion of the World! Young girls have a great example to follow. And, of course, she helped to draw the attention of public officials to our sport. We are her faithful supporters!
Q – How many dart players do you think live in Russia?
A – About 1,000 players take part in various Russian tournaments on a regular basis. However, I don’t have a clue, what is the total number of people playing darts across Russia.
Q – Is the sport of darts developing in Russia?
A – The fact that Boris Koltsov and Alexander Oreshkin are known all over the world means that the sport of darts is developing in Russia. But for more sustainable mass development tournaments should be televised regularly, which is unfortunately not the case in our country.
Q – Is the sport televised in Russia?
A – We are trying to reach an agreement with TV people, and hope that our federal TV channel buys the rights to broadcast PDC World Championship 2018.
Q – Is darts an official recognized sport in Russia?
A – Yes, darts is an officially acknowledged sport in Russia. There is a national federation of darts, and we maintain good relations with it.