December 18, 2019 / 2:23 PM / a month ago

Sherrock wants more chances for women after landmark win

LONDON (Reuters) - England’s Fallon Sherrock wants more qualifying places for female darts players after she became the first woman to beat a man at the PDC World Championship.

FILE PHOTO: Darts - 2016 World Professional Darts Championships - Lakeside Country Club, Frimley Green, Surrey - 3/1/16 England's Fallon Sherrock in action during the first round Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Matthew Childs Livepic

Sherrock battled back from two sets to one down to seal a 3-2 first-round victory over Ted Evetts at London’s Alexandra Palace on Tuesday.

“The women’s game has come on leaps and bounds and it was time we beat a man,” the 25-year-old Sherrock told the BBC.

“There are more women that can play to my level, if not better, we just need more opportunities. There are only two women that can qualify but maybe raising it to four would help.”

UK & Ireland qualifier Sherrock and her Rest of the World counterpart Mikuru Suzuki made it through to the prestigious event featuring 96 players, but the Japanese suffered an agonising 3-2 loss to Englishman James Richardson on Sunday.

Sherrock’s victory came two years after she faced online abuse over her physical appearance during the 2017 BDO World Championships, when the treatment she was receiving for kidney problems caused her face to swell.

“I cannot repeat those comments but they were harsh, basically calling me a ‘big-faced person’,” she said.

Sherrock is only the fifth female to play at the PDC World Championship event — two women were guaranteed entry starting with last year’s championship — but she believes her performance showed that they can compete with men.

“I do not see myself at a physical disadvantage,” she said. “As long as you put the effort in with your practice, the muscles in your arm stay relaxed and mental preparation is all it takes.”

Sherrock is excited at the prospect of taking on Austrian veteran Mensur Suljovic in the second round on Saturday.

“If I can just keep up with the (men) and hit the doubles, who is to say I cannot win the championship?” she said.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris

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