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German Wins Ally Pally Match Four Years After Taking Up Darts

German Wins Ally Pally Match Four Years After Taking Up Darts

Florian Hempel defeated fellow German Martin Schindler 3-0 in the first round of the World Darts Championship on Sunday evening.

The game was the 31-year-old's Alexandra Palace debut. Hempel, who previously played professional handball in Germany, only took up darts four years ago.

"It's four years ago, I started in our flat in Cologne to play darts," he said after Sunday night's win.

"I had a week vacation, so I played a little bit more, had fun. I ordered a board and good darts. On the Friday, I went to a tournament, and I won the tournament!"

Sunday's victory was over an opponent Hempel considers a close friend, and came just two years after he made his Eurpoean tour debut.

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"I'm proud of myself," he said.

"It was a big moment, on the biggest stage in the world, and I won in my first game on it. I played against a friend, so my thoughts are with Martin. I felt comfortable on the stage, and now I'm happy.

"This year, I got my tour card. This year started my career.

"Next year, I want to hold my tour card. I want to go to the top 64 in the world. Then, we will see what will happen."

Asked if he could emulate current world number one Gerwyn Price, who played rugby league and union, before taking up darts, Hempel said: "I'm not Gerwyn Price. I'm just Florian Hempel!"

See Also: Meath Teen Shows Class In Incredible World Darts Championship Match

florian hempel world darts championship

PJ Browne
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