Darts: Singapore duo's fairy-tale run ends in quarter-final exit

Singapore's Paul Lim (left) and Harith Lim were beaten in the quarter-finals of the competition.
Singapore's Paul Lim (left) and Harith Lim were beaten in the quarter-finals of the competition.PHOTO: TWITTER/ OFFICIALPDC

Singapore's Paul Lim and Harith Lim had hoped to make even more history at the World Cup of Darts last night but it was not to be.

The duo, who became the first players from the Republic to reach the quarter-finals of the annual competition on Saturday, were beaten 2-1 by Belgium's eighth seeds Kim and Ronny Huybrechts.

According to the tournament's official website www.pdc.tv, the spectators in the Eissporthalle in Frankfurt were chanting and breaking out in song as they cheered the unseeded Singapore pair on.

Amid the electric atmosphere, Paul and Harith took the Belgians to a decider but fell 2-4 in the doubles match.

Get The Straits Times
newsletters in your inbox

Paul had earlier lost to Kim 1-4 and Harith beat Ronny 4-2 in the singles matches to force a decider.

Despite the loss on the final day of the £250,000 (S$445,000) tournament, Paul, 63, and Harith, 47, will take home £7,000 each and the respect of the field.

TRULY SPECIAL

It is an honour. I mean to represent a country is the biggest thing.

PAUL LIM, Singapore darts player, on competing in a World Cup as compared to other championships.

In the opening round on Friday, they sent shockwaves throughout the sport when they stunned top seeds Scotland 5-2 in a doubles best-of-nine legs game.

The Scots - Gary Anderson and Peter Wright - are ranked second and third in the world respectively. In contrast, according to Darts Database, Paul is ranked 451st, while Harith is 879th.

Paul, who made his name when he became the first player to complete a perfect nine-dart finish at the 1990 World Darts Championship, had told Sky Sports in an interview on Friday: "I tell you what, this is the moment. Because I think it's so much so it's not representing yourself, but it's for your country and all that.

"And it is an honour. I mean to represent a country is the biggest thing."

Singapore then followed up that win by eliminating Spain's Antonio Alcinas and Cristo Reyes 2-1, who were also unseeded, to reach the last eight of the tournament.

It was the first time that Singapore had advanced that far in the competition. They reached the second round in 2014 and 2016.

Singapore were also the only Asian team to make it to the quarter-finals.

Five Asian teams (the others were China, Hong Kong, Japan and Thailand) competed in the field of 32 sides.

Alvin Chia

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 05, 2017, with the headline 'Singapore darts duo's fairy-tale run ends in q-final exit'. Print Edition | Subscribe