Michael Smith has fulfilled his darting destiny, becoming the champion of the world after defeating Michael van Gerwen 7-4 in the final of the PDC World Darts Championship in an instant classic.
In his third World Final, just 12 short months after suffering heartbreak against Peter Wright in last year's showpiece darting clash, Michael Smith simply refused to be denied this time around. In one of the greatest finals of all time, highlighted by a Bully Boy nine-darter just seconds after van Gerwen had wired double 12 for one of his own, a relentless Smith posed questions his Dutch opponent simply did not have the answers to.
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Understandably joyous, Smith was already casting an eye to the future and what he hopes will be a period of dominance. "I want to do what this man (van Gerwen) has done. I want to take over this sport," he told Sky Sports on stage immediately after his victory. "This is not going to be the last final here where me and Michael play each other. I've said it for years, he is the best player in darts we've just got to take our chances against him and I finally took mine."
Modest in defeat, Michael van Gerwen was full of praise for his conqueror. "He doesn't do his game any justice. This man played absolutely phenomenal, we all know that! Of course, I didn't take my chances but he was there every moment he had to. Fair play to him he deserves this."
With his family in the crowd, an emotional Smith explained how this will be a night that will live forever in his memory. "Sporting memory it's my greatest ever. I don't think that'll ever be topped. Even if I won it a second time it would never top the way I've just felt then."
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