Darts

'I want to win!' Dobromyslova inspired by Sherrock ahead of BDO World Championships

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Anastasia Dobromyslova

Image credit: Getty Images

ByCarrie Dunn
02/01/2020 at 16:47 | Updated 03/01/2020 at 08:47
@carriesparkle

Fallon Sherrock has caught the attention of the sporting world with her achievements at the PDC World Championships - and one woman knows exactly what it's like to be in the darting spotlight, beating the men.

Ten years ago, Anastasia Dobromyslova was doing exactly the same - qualifying for tournaments to play against men. In 2009 she defeated Vincent van der Voort in the PDC Grand Slam of Darts - following in Deta Hedman's footsteps and becoming the second woman to beat a man in a televised tournament.

"I don't think ten years ago [darts] was as big as it is now," she says. "The attention I had ten years ago, that was huge for ten years ago!"

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Dobromyslova was accompanied to the oche by the traditional walk-on girls at the time - but they were brandishing placards with "girl power" slogans. She tried not to think of herself as representing all women in darts, concentrating just on her game - but she admits she did feel the pressure sometimes.

"It was a huge build-up to it," she recalls. "You always get people saying, 'It's just a gimmick, they're never good enough.' I just wanted to play well. It happened I won, and obviously that was a special moment - but I was just trying to play my game as much as possible."

Dobromyslova returned to the BDO women's tour in 2011, where she is a three-time world champion. In the last three years she has finished as runner-up once and reached the semi-final twice - disappointing results for a woman who knows she has what it takes to win tournaments, but has perhaps forgotten how to.

Lisa Ashton beats Anastasia Dobromyslova to pick up the women's crown

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Sherrock's run at Alexandra Palace means there's likely to be plenty of attention when the women's world championship begins at the Indigo O2 on Saturday January 4.

"It's about time!" says Dobromyslova, who's admired Sherrock's displays this week. "Her finishes were phenomenal - I felt a bit jealous, to be honest. It brings the memories. She's doing amazingly - and I'm like, 'Do you know what? I want to win as well."

Dobromyslova admits that perhaps her results have not been as strong she would like in recent years.

"Sometimes you become a bit lazy - you're winning and maybe you start practising less, or doing silly things," she says. With a toddler son at home with her husband and fellow pro Tony Martin, she also has to find time to practise and travel - but since he started nursery, she now has more flexibility to get in front of a board, and she is helped out with childcare by her mother.

As she prepares for the world championships once more, she knows that her toughest opponent is a familiar one - "the demons in my head," she says wryly. "People write you off. I know I'm practising really well at the moment, and I'm hoping it will all click together at the right time."

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