Michael Smith, who also lost the 2019 final, was leading 5-4 and had the darts to go within a set of victory, before Peter Wright claimed a 7-5 victory at the Alexandra Palace to become a two-time world champion
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 04/01/22 6:10am
New PDC Darts World Champion Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright has backed Michael Smith to become a dominant force in the sport once he secures that elusive major title.
Smith fell narrowly short in his bid for a maiden world championship victory, fighting back from 2-0 and 3-2 down to lead 5-4 before Wright rattled off three consecutive sets to claim a thrilling 7-5 victory at the Alexandra Palace.
The Englishman’s loss is his sixth runner-up finish in a major final, although Wright – now a two-time World Champion – has predicted Smith to lift the Sid Waddell Trophy in the future.
“It’s not about me, it’s about the future of darts and this man let me in today,” Wright told Sky Sports after his victory. “I shouldn’t have had the first set – go and practice your doubles man! I feel so bad because as soon as he gets a major, he’ll just trounce everybody.”
Wright added: “Obviously I’m over the moon [to win]. Me and Mike [Michael Smith] didn’t perform how we can. I can’t explain what went wrong for 90 per cent of the match. I just kept swapping darts to try and find something.
“It’s just the atmosphere in here. It was really strange tonight and my darts were going in everywhere, but luckily I won.
“The atmosphere in here affected my darts so badly and affected Michael’s as well, but it will be Michael’s turn [to win] soon.”
Smith’s defeat is his second in a world final, three years on from losing 7-3 to Michael van Gerwen, with the ninth seed remaining determined to challenge for his long-awaited TV title in 2022.
“I got five sets instead of three, so I’m getting closer!” Smith told Sky Sports. “I must have done something terrible in a past life because it’s doing my head in now. I’ll have a bad night tonight but I’ll definitely be back on that board and getting ready for the next one.
“I was 2-0 down and wasn’t playing the best I could but I kept fighting back and fighting back. In the end, that bullseye wouldn’t go in! I had a couple of shots at 104 and stuff, but that’s darts I guess.”
Check out daily Darts news on skysports.com/darts, our app for mobile devices and our Twitter account @skysportsdarts
Source : Sky Sports