Filipino players captured the top spots in all four categories of the Selangor Open 2018 Dart Championship.
The world-ranked tournament held at Oriental Crystal Hotel in Kajang, attracted more than 450 players from Singapore, Brunei, the Philippines as well as Malaysia.
Malaysia Darts Association (MDA) president Nancy Ambrose said the ranking entitlement in the tournament for the top 32 men and top 16 women darters meant many professional players competed for the coveted title.
“Response was overwhelming with 86 participants in the men’s teams and 20 in the women’s teams with four players per team.
“The participation is almost as huge as the Malaysia Open,” said Nancy during the finals of the men’s and women’s individual open events.
Nancy added that many soft-tip players ventured into steel-tip darts that required better precision and skills.
“The craze over soft-tip dart machines took Malaysia by storm and Malaysians are well exposed to the sport as part of social networking.
“So now we are seeing more players taking darts seriously and wanting to get onto the world stage. We are also seeing a gradual increase in women participants in tournaments,” she said.
For the individual event, darters were involved in round robin matches before proceeding to the knock-out round.
In the team event, darters were required to play three legs of 501 single and doubles and a leg of 701 threesome.
In the Women’s Team event, Malaysian team Apache Angels emerged joint third while the top two spots were taken by champion Tropang Luzvimina and first runners-up Zombie Darters.
Apache Angels team captain Elliz Chong did not expect her team to go that far and was clearly delighted with their performance.
“We did our best and planned our strategy well during the team event. We won the threesome 701 round and but lost the 501 doubles round.
“I also lost 2-1 to the Philippines team as they were clearly too strong.
“I am slightly disappointed as I failed to double out when I had 32 points left as 16 is my favourite number to score,” she said.
The 37-year-old property agent said she started playing darts when she was forced to give up playing badminton owing to a knee injury.
“A friend introduced me to soft darts and I fell in love with the game,” she said.
Apache Angels coach and Malaysia’s professional darter Rosidi Puasa said he was proud of his team’s performance.
“This is the first time I gathered members from different clubs to play as a team and the results were rewarding.
“The tournament was tough but the girls did extremely well even though they were exposed to strong competition during the event,” he said, adding that he hoped his trainees gained valuable experience from the event.
MDA secretary Pathmanathan Chandraraja said the state-level clubs were encouraged to apply with the World Darts Federation to become an affiliate of MDA.
”By doing so they can organise ranked events that will automatically raise the level of competitions,” he said.
ROLL OF HONOURS
Men’s team: DOT Team One
Women’s team: Tropang Luzvimina
Men’s singles: Melvin Kent Pelona
Women’s singles: Lovely Mae Orbeta