DARTS star Peter Wright has the chance to complete a remarkable career turnaround when he faces Dutchman Michael van Gerwen in the final of the PDC World Championship tomorrow night.
Livingston-born Wright produced a 100.24 average as he beat Australia’s Simon Whitlock 6-2 in the semi-finals at Alexandra Palace last night.
Wright, now based in Suffolk, did not compete in either World Championship tournament between 1996 and 2009 but now ‘Snakebite’ is just one win away from being crowned world champion.
“I’m pretty emotional right now as I’ve just realised what I’ve achieved,” he said.
“I held myself together well throughout. My finishing was excellent – particularly on double 16 – and I didn’t give Simon a sniff at any stage.
“I knew that I’ve been playing really well throughout the last 12 months and I’ve managed to keep that form going into the biggest tournament in the game.”
Van Gerwen is taking nothing for granted after securing his place in the final for the second straight year.
The Dutchman, who lost to Phil Taylor last year, blew two-time champion Adrian Lewis away 6-0 last night with a 103.02 average as his opponent struggled to hit his doubles.
The 24-year-old said: “I’m really pleased to win the game in this fashion and to be involved in the final for a second straight year feels fantastic.
“Adrian missed a couple of chances to win the first leg which I managed to win and the game followed a similar pattern from there.
“Adrian didn’t play badly and didn’t deserve to lose 6-0, but I took my chances really well and timed them to perfection.
“Even at 5-0 up I kept my focus as Adrian is a class player and can produce a long run of winning legs in quick time, so it was a great feeling to hit double 11 and end the game.”
Van Gerwen, who is from Boxtel and was the youngest player to throw a nine-darter on TV, added: “I can relax and prepare myself for the final against Peter. Many will probably regard me as favourite, but Peter has produced a very high standard in all his games and will be a dangerous opponent.”