16-year-old in the World Cup semi-final: “Pure fighting animal”: That’s darts prodigy Luke Littler

The hype around him is heading towards the next peak: Luke Littler, 16 years old, is the youngest participant in the history of the Darts World Cup to reach the final in London.

16-year-old in the World Cup semi-final: “Pure fighting animal”: That’s darts prodigy Luke Littler

The hype around him is heading towards the next peak: Luke Littler, 16 years old, is the youngest participant in the history of the Darts World Cup to reach the final in London. The young Englishman will meet his compatriot Rob Cross in the semi-finals on Tuesday (from 8.30 p.m./DAZN and Sport1) – and wants to create the next sensation. With Rob Cross, Littler would knock the next world champion (Cross won the title in 2018) out of the tournament. He had previously achieved this in the round of 16 with darts legend Raymond van Barnefeld, 40 years older than Littler.

The boy from Warrington in northern England is the sensation of the tournament at Alexandra Palace. He confidently won his five World Cup games and created a great atmosphere among the celebrating fans. The final takes place on Wednesday (9 p.m.). Should Littler sensationally become world champion, he would also move into the top ten of the world rankings and achieve a historic double: he would be world champion among juniors and among professionals at the same time. One of his great strengths is definitely that he always stays cool: "I don't feel any nerves at all. It was incredible again," said Littler after the victory over Barneveld. And even the defeated world champion from 2007 raved: “He’s playing phenomenally.

The slightly obese young man always treated himself to a doner kebab after his victories. Calculated like this, there would still be one kebab each on January 2nd and 3rd until the title, which would bring in the equivalent of almost 600,000 euros. It would be a sensation.

There is no doubt that the gifted talent can achieve the big feat and finally be crowned king of the 2024 World Cup. A look at the sporting performance is enough. Of the players remaining in the tournament, Littler played with the highest and second-highest point averages in a single game. In his first World Cup game, he set a record for the highest average by a debutant.

Maybe the incredible achievements also have something to do with Littler's advisor. None other than darts giant Phil Taylor, who holds the record with 16 world titles, gives his young colleague tips. "He's the best teenager I've ever seen in my life," Taylor said recently.

The British newspaper "The Guardian" also sees the reason for the hype in the fact that Littler is not a depressed teenager, but rather appears confident on the oche. "And that's exactly what makes him such a frightening presence. He is not a robot, but a pure fighting animal who is able to modulate his game and use his mental strengths at exactly the right moment. He knows how to use the stage better and better , just like Taylor did at his best." Overall, Littler seems (at first glance) older and more mature than 16.

In keeping with his temperament, Littler goes by the martial nickname “The Nuke.” The approximately 3,000 fans cheering him at the Ally Pally are already dedicating to him the "Wonderland" chants that were previously reserved for Phil Taylor. The chant also sounds loudly again and again: “You go to school in the morning.”

At 18 months old and in diapers, he is said to have already thrown his first magnetic darts. Funny pictures are already being shared on social media of how the Englishman completed his first units as an embryo in his mother's womb. At the age of nine, he said he went to the pub several times a week and learned. During the Corona pandemic, he improved his skills; his parents repeatedly encouraged him to get on board as often as possible. They also proudly watch on site at Ally Pally as their son inspires the spectators with his achievements. Now Littler wants to create a sensation. He can be trusted.

Sources: DPA, Guardian.

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