IIndeed, Max Hope and Gabriel Clemens should not have played their first-round game at the World Cup of Darts against Canada’s Jeff Smith and Matt Campbell. Because there was a surprising agreement that the German couple would lose. “I see a solid team that won’t make it: I think Germany will end up against Canada,” wrote Dan Dawson, one of the best-known commentators in international darts, in the run-up to the tournament.
He received major support on Sky from former professional and longtime British TV expert Wayne Mardle. While this made the eight-seeded pair a secret favorite last year, this time it was only enough for Hop and Clemens to play an outsider against Canada. And of course: this assessment was not entirely unfounded.
The German debut hasn’t been in top form lately. Gabriel Clemens had to find out in his 2:10 opening loss against Jose de Sousa at World Matchplay in July that he was not yet among the best in the world. Max Hope also lags behind his fate from earlier years, speaking in a WELT interview of one of his “worse years”.
too many breaks in the beginning
The dangerous Canadian, on the other hand, waited after all the quarter-finals in Salzburg last year, which should be full of confidence according to the latest results. Matt Campbell in particular played a big role recently, securing Tour tickets for the next two years with not only an overall win on the European Challenge Tour, but also one of the coveted starting spots for the individual world championships in Alley Pally.
“There are three or four countries that you don’t want to be in the first round as a seeded player. Poland, Austria and Canada”, Gabriel Clemens had to admit in the winner’s interview after the game. In the winning interview? In fact, the experts were wrong, with Germany winning 5:3.
The two Germans, who had teamed up with Clemens in the Saarland, slowly found their way into the game, throwing eight darts from the doubles in the first leg alone. However, because Canada, and especially the highly acclaimed Matt Campbell, never really got into the rhythm, a game developed at an early stage in which the throwing team, contrary to the rule, never had a real advantage. Clemens’ first highlight led 2:2 and a fourth break in a row. Number 24 in the world, for whom this is the first World Cup in front of an audience, he scored 122 points with three darts.
Hop first uses match dart
As a result, it was Clemens who was able to significantly improve his game and who excited the already very loud 900 spectators in Jena more and more times. His partner Hope also noticed this after the game. Clemens, 25, pointed to Clemens on stage before inviting the audience to La-Ola with his 13-year-old partner.
“We’re happy we’re on the next lap. Luckily, Gabriel kept us alive. I showed some nervousness,” Hope said after the game and emphasized again that he was still looking for his top form. Also, it was also thanks to the former top talent in the deciding moments that the match ended in favor of the semi-finalists of the previous year. They not only checked to make it 4:3, but also completed the German team’s first match win. did.
“Of course I wasn’t 100 percent confident,” Hope remarked, knowing that he also benefited from the fact that Canada’s secret favorite never showed off his best darts. And so Hope was able to allow herself to throw the first dart far ahead of the target, with 48 points remaining to win the fifth stage with the remaining two arrows. After the game, Hop could laugh about it and said: “I’m not ashamed of it. I haven’t had an audience for a long time, and it’s a tough season. But I face every challenge.”
Northern Ireland Survived by Darts Crime Thriller
The next match is in the Round of 16, which will be played entirely on Saturday and in which two singles will be played first, before a double is decided in the event of a tie. For the hop, an increase in performance is required. The Germans are the clear favorites against Japan’s Jun Matsuda and Baba Yoshihisa. The debutants won a match against Russia with an average score of 5:1. On the way to the quarter-finals, the Japanese should have only one mandatory task, but Clemens warned: “We have to take the whole thing seriously and prepare well.”
Northern Irish Daryl Gurney and Brendan Dolan also survived an actual darts thriller. Against Hong Kong, the fifth-placed pair suffered a break to do 3:4 in the seventh leg and were seen as underdogs a short time later. Kai Fan Leung and Man Lok Leung also earned five match darts. . However, similar to Hope, the Asia team struggled with its nerves. Gurney was able to check double-2 before his teammate Dolan changed the match to double-20 in favor of the favourite.
Hungary – Lithuania 3:5
Czech Republic 2-5 Poland
Gibraltar – Singapore 4:5
USA – Sweden 5-1
Scotland (6) – China 5-0
Netherlands (3) – Denmark 5-1
Wales (2) – Finland 5-2
Australia (7) – Italy 5-0
Russia 1-5 Japan
Spain 4-5 South Africa
Ireland 4-5 Portugal
Austria – Philippines 5:1
Northern Ireland (5) – Hong Kong 5:4
Germany (8) – Canada 5:3
England (1) – Brazil 5: 2
Belgium (4) – Greece 5-2
Northern Ireland (5) – Portugal
England (1) – South Africa
Australia (7) – USA
Belgium (4) – Austria
Scotland (6) – Poland
Germany (8) – Japan
Netherlands (3) – Singapore
Wales (2) – Litouen
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