Lorraine Winstanley received the news that two women are guaranteed to compete in the 2019 PDC World Darts Championship with a lot of enthusiasm. But while the thought of Alexandra Palace participation is enchanting, she still has major reservations.
The PDC announced earlier this week that the field of participants for the World Championship will be expanded to 96 players. Two qualifying spots are reserved for female darts players, who would enter the first round in a tie against a Pro Tour qualifier.
”This is absolutely fantastic for ladies darts. I think the news will cause great excitement amongst the ladies”, Winstanley told Dartsnews.com in an interview.
”The ladies game has progressed massively over the last few years. We have a great deal of talent within our game. I’m hoping that this step will lead to great things.”
Despite the lucrative proposition, it isn’t a sure thing that Winstanley will take part in the women’s qualifying tournament. PDC chairman Barry Hearn cleared the path for women wanting to play at the Ally Pally and the Lakeside, but the BDO could yet prove to be a serious roadblock.
”It’s great that Barry Hearn has not put any restrictions on playing at Alexandra Palace. However, I fear the obstacles may come from the BDO side regarding playing Lakeside.”
Until BDO approval is secured, the 42-year-old from Derbyshire cannot say with certainty whether she’ll play in the UK Ladies Qualifier. ”I’ll make my decision regarding playing in the qualifier once the details are announced. Playing against men does not bother me at all and I would not rule out a switch to the PDC if there was to be more opportunities for ladies.”
Finalist at the BDO World Trophy
Last weekend the women’s world number one reached the final of the BDO World Trophy. After beating Paula Jacklin, Anca Zijlstra and Anastasia Dobromyslova, she lost in the final to an in-form Fallon Sherrock. The reigning Winmau World Master was disappointed with the level of disinterest in the tournament. The attendance on any given day at the Preston Guild Hall only numbered in the dozens. Winstanley therefore looks back with mixed feelings at the BDO World Trophy.
”It was great to reach the final of another major. Obviously I was disappointed not to come out as champion. But the final was such a great game and Fallon was the better player on the day. As for the tournament the venue was great but it was such a shame about the lack of support. I think the standard over the weekend was worthy of more support.”
Winstanley played with her new Target darts at the BDO World Trophy. The wife of former Lakeside finalist Dean Winstanley signed a contract with the well-known darts manufacturer last year. According to her, this switch has helped her to perform more consistently on the circuit.
”I joined target in December and the partnership is going great. I’m loving my new darts and I think my form is becoming more consistent I’m excited to see what the future holds.”