Michael Smith Crowned 2023 PDC World Darts Champion

Michael Smith, nicknamed “the bully boy” was recently crowned the champion of the PDC world championships for 2023. The darts player from St Helens came into the competition ranked number 4 in the world, but was promoted to number 1 after a shock victory against the favourite to win the competition, Dutchman Michael Van Gerwen. The new world champion kicked off his tournament with a 3-0 win over Nathan Rafferty, but found himself 3-1 down against German Martin Schindler, before mounting an incredible comeback to win 4-3. He then went on to beat Joe Cullen (4-1), Stephen Bunting (5-3) and Gabriel Clemens (6-2) to book his spot in the final.

Many expected Michael Van Gerwen to beat Smith comfortably, with the Dutchman having dominated everyone he faced in the scoring phase of games, as well as finishing very professionally. However, Smith managed to keep up with Van Gerwen’s mammoth scoring, and even managed to outscore him on many occasions. Van Gerwen, also known as the Green Machine, took the first set of the match, which then inspired something truly incredible. After levelling up the second set at 1 leg a piece, both men were on for 9-darters after 6 darts. Van Gerwen missed his checkout on double 12, agonisingly grazing the wire, when up stepped “bully boy” Michael Smith to take out 141 for the first and only 9 darter of the whole competition. He went on to win 7-4 and claim his first world title in front of a packed out Ally Pally. 

In an interview with TalkSport, Smith said he “stared at the Sid Waddell trophy for 7 hours” in a sleepless night after being crowned the world champion. The man from St Helens will now look to cement his place at number 1 and will hope to win more trophies as the year progresses.

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