World Darts Federation 2013 World Cup starts today at PowerPlex
Almost 30 countries, 32 dart boards and four days of world-class competition. That’s the scenario as the World Darts Federation’s 2013 World Cup begins play today at the provincial training centre in St. John’s.
© — Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram
Troy Hanlon (left) and Bill St. Croix, both of St. Mary’s Bay, will be competing with Team Canada in the World Darts Federation 2013 World Cup starting today at the PowerPlex in St. John’s. After this event, the pair will travel to Hull, England for the World Masters on Sunday.
Canada’s team includes a pair of Newfoundlanders and, if you think they are intimidated by the opposition, think again.
Bill St. Croix of Riverhead, St. Mary’s Bay and Troy Hanlon of O’Donnell’s, St. Mary’s Bay, along with Dave Cameron of Nova Scotia and Chris Wallace make up the Canadian team for the major event which held its colorful opening ceremonies Tuesday night.
Asked what their expectations are this week, neither hesitated in saying it was to win the World Cup.
“I’ve got confidence in myself and in our team,” said Hanlon.
“We’re going to win,” said St. Croix, adding, “If you don’t think you can win, you might as well not play.”
Both said they are not intimidated by this week’s opposition.
The Canadian men are competing in Group 2 with Brazil, Netherlands and Wales.
The Newfoundlanders agreed that, as far as the opposition goes, England will be the toughest team to beat this weekend.
“They are the history of darts,” noted Hanlon. “But you want to play them because, in order to be the best, you have to play the best.”
They also both agree that it’s going to be very competitive.
“When you have countries involved, it’s for bragging rights and everyone gets up for that,” said Hanlon.
Hanlon and St. Croix said the toughest part of this tournament will be the mental aspect of playing so many games over a short period of time. They agree you have to be at your best every day.
“You can have a bad game, but not a bad day,” is how Hanlon, 26, put it.
St. Croix, 39, who has been playing competitive darts for seven years says it’s not a problem being nervous before games. It’s how you deal with being nervous.
“You need to know how to settle yourself down and play through the nerves, then it’s no problem,” said St. Croix.
Hanlon, who has been playing “serious” darts for eight years, said his days of being nervous are over and it doesn’t matter at what level he’s playing.
“I just keep focused,” said Hanlon. “There’s a little bit of nervousness because of the adrenalin rush, but that’s all and that’s probably a good thing.”
Close friends, Hanlon and St. Croix have competed across the country together for years.
They support one another and often pick each other up when one of them is having an off night in a tournament.
“But, in this event,” noted St. Croix, “it’s not just myself and Troy playing, it’s Team Canada playing and if I make a bad shot, I know my teammates will pick me up.”
They’ve had remarkable succes over the past year and a half finishing no worse than the semifinals in about a dozen doubles tournaments.
They’ve also played against each other over the years, but there’s never any animosity.
Hanlon and St. Croix said it’s great to have the World Cup here, just because of the money they save in not having to travel.
St. Croix said they’d love to travel to more tournaments outside of Canada, but it’s difficult getting sponsors for darts in this province.
There’s no rest for the Newfoundland duo as they’ll head to Hull, England Sunday to compete in the World Masters.
Competition among the countries in the St. John’s event will be held in men’s and women’s singles and team events along with boys’ and girls’ singles and youth mixed pairs.
This is one of the world’s major darts events with crucial world ranking points available in singles competition.
Just to qualify to play in the World Cup, for example, you have to either finish in the top 16 in Canada or be the best in your province.
Asked why many of the better players in Newfoundland and Labrador come from small towns, Hanlon said with a smile, “Less to do.”
They also agreed that it was a cheap sport to play so it is open to anyone.
“You can play it in your garage or outside on a tree,” said St. Croix.
Hanlon and St. Croix are both boosters of youth darts and have plans to play some games with the kids in St. John’s when they return from England.
Today’s events include men’s team round-robin group matches and girls’ round-robin and playoff singles. Thursday features men’s and women’s pairs group matches and playoffs, boys’ singles and men’s quarter-finals and semifinals.
Friday’s events include men’s and women’s singles and youth mixed pairs playoff matches
All event finals are scheduled for Saturday.