'Miracle' Mikuru claims world title

Mikuru Suzuki on her way to beating England's Lorraine Winstanley at the BDO World Championships. The Japanese is the first Asian player to win a world darts championship title.
Mikuru Suzuki on her way to beating England's Lorraine Winstanley at the BDO World Championships. The Japanese is the first Asian player to win a world darts championship title.PHOTO: TWITTER /BDODARTS

LONDON • Japanese qualifier Mikuru Suzuki became the first Asian player to win a world darts championship title on Saturday with victory in the women's BDO final at the Lakeside Country Club.

The 36-year-old debutante completed a stunning success with a comprehensive 3-0 win over English world No. 1 Lorraine Winstanley.

Suzuki, who husband flew in overnight to watch her, dropped only two legs in the final as she clinched the trophy and the £12,000 (S$20,000) top prize without losing a single set in her four matches.

"It was my best darts in this tournament, and probably my best this year too," Suzuki, dubbed "The Miracle", said. "I'm obviously so happy. Lorraine is a fantastic player so I just wanted to play my best game and thankfully, I did."

Winstanley, who was taking part in her first world final, "was gutted" with the loss but vowed "to be back, (having) made the final".

Having caused a massive shock by knocking out four-time champion Lisa Ashton in the first round, Suzuki capped a memorable fortnight with a record three-dart average for a women's final of 90.12.

Ashton had held the previous mark for a year.

The Japanese player's success could have been even sweeter after flirting with what would have been the first televised women's nine-darter following back-to-back 180s at the beginning of the second set.

However, Suzuki's seventh dart just missed the red bit.

She becomes only the fifth winner of the BDO women's world championship since the inaugural edition in 2001 and is also the first non-European to win the title.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 14, 2019, with the headline ''Miracle' Mikuru claims world title'. Print Edition | Subscribe