Ian White says World Champs are a mental game after COVID year of darts

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Stoke darts player Ian White previews the 2021 PDC World Darts Championship’s, which kick off on Tuesday 15th December and suggests that it’s a chance for many upsets due to 2020 affecting many player’s mental health.

Currently ranked world number 10, in the PDC World Ranking, the ‘Diamond’ will be looking to repeat his heroics of 2014, where he reached the Quarter-Finals of the World Championship but narrowly lost 5-4 to Australian, Simon Whitlock despite posting a 98.5 average, bettering Whitlock’s 95 on the night.

However, this year, more than ever, White suggests whether players will be on their A game or not, is down to the mental side of things.

He said: “I think all players enjoy the Worlds. It’s a really big opportunity for players to come through and show what they’re made of.

“It passes through to the New Year so it’s also a mental test that you have to make sure you stay switched on if you make it that far. I’m looking forward to it and will definitely give it my best go.”

White has been labelled as one of the most consistent players in the sport. Being agonisingly close on a few occasions to claiming his first televised title but managing a huge 13 non-televised titles begs the question- Why can’t he win when he’s on the telly?

He said: “I know, I can’t seem to win on the telly. I don’t have any superstitions before I go on and play, I have a routine that I like to follow which mainly involves the practice boards but it’s more of a mind-set for me.

“I have to get into the right frame of mind before playing so if there are players at the Worlds who are off in a way, that could be the reason why and you can’t blame them after such a strange year.”

Despite being pinned back by the COVID restrictions and strict rules in place, White feels as if his game is getting better every time he’s on the oche, in perfect timing for the World Championships.

‘The Diamond’ said: “I feel good, I am glad the tournaments are going ahead. I am currently isolating in my hotel room and waiting on my test results and as soon as they come back, I can get back on that practice board.

“I played well, apart from one, at the Grand Slam, but I am enjoying it at the moment, I feel as if my game is getting better all the time and we all enjoy this tournament because it’s the one before the World Championships so the timing is just right, but we’ll see.”

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