The 2017 World Darts Championships got underway at the Alexandra Palace in London on Thursday night, and already we’ve seen fireworks. Reigning champion Gary Anderson made a flying start as he aims for three world crowns in a row, beating ‘Frosty The Throwman’ Mark Frost in straight sets. 2004 finalist Kevin Painter managed to see off Jamie Cavan 3-1 in an absolute slog to open the night, while Welsh youngster Jamie Lewis beat Irishman Mick McGowan 3-2 courtesy of a 50 per cent success rate on the doubles.
The highlight of the night however was the final match between World Youth Champion Michael Smith and ‘Rapid’ Ricky Evans. A five-set thriller ensued between two of the fastest players in the game, and Bully Boy Smith came out on top in a match that featured 10 180s – the most of the night.
Rapid Ricky’s Ally Pally journey may have come to an end at the first hurdle, but he did hit one of the fastest 180s the World Champs have ever seen. Sky Sports clocked it at 2.16 seconds – blink and you’ll miss it!