Resurgent former national darts champion Norman Madhoo will wing out today for the United States where he will be taking part in the 23rd Annual Virginia Beach Darts Classics.
The former national champion, who was plagued by recurring injuries last year when he was dethroned by young Sudesh Fitzgerald without throwing a dart, said that at present he is back to full strength.
In a telephone interview with Stabroek Sport Madhoo said that the tournament is an open one where all one needs to do is to pay an entrance fee. Asked about sponsorship for the trip, Madhoo said that as usual he is self-sponsoring as he has been doing over the years.
According to the former national champion, he has been maintaining a high level of play recently.
In the 2009 Mashramani Darts Classics Madhoo made light work of his opponents, beating Barbadian Anthony Forde in the finals to cop his first major title for the year. Madhoo, keeping in stride, displaced his opponents on March 13 in the De Abreu Creations Singles competition at the Saltair Sports Club, Pegasus. In the final Wilfred Jagnarine crumbled to Madhoo, who secured his second consecutive title for 2009.
Meanwhile the US$35,000 tournament in Virginia will be played over three days from March 27-29 and Madhoo who lost in the Singles final last year, said that he will be better prepared this time. Madhoo said that last year’s winner, Bill Davis, who created the major upset at the Ladbrokes World Darts Championships 2008 when he knocked out the defending champion John Part in the first round, will be looking to repeat his 2008 success but not if he has his way.
Davis who is ranked 69 by the Professional Darts Council (PDC) is enjoying a good period in his career having risen to his highest ranking since being ranked in 2002.
Meanwhile, Madhoo is currently ranked at 182 by the World Darts Federation (WDF), 72 places behind compatriot and present national champion Sudesh Fitzgerald who is ranked 110. Fitzgerald and Madhoo are the only two Guyanese ranked by the WDF.
Madhoo noted that the team from the USA and Canada are expected to take part in this competition which is the richest darts tournament in the USA and he is looking forward to surpassing his finalist position last year by returning home with the crown.
Madhoo says that he intends to take part in singles, doubles and triples and will be partnered by Florida-based Jamaican Nigel Genty and will be hooking up with a female at the tournament to take part in the mixed doubles and triples which will also feature Genty.
Madhoo said that he is hoping to play in each of the nine events. The first competition, the Men’s Double In (DI)/Double Out (DO) 301 event carries a first prize of US$600. The games will be played in a best of three games with the player having to score a double to start and a double to end the game. The game starts at 6:00pm tomorrow.
The Singles finals billed for Sunday at 1:00pm will carry a first prize of US$1,200 and Madhoo said he is hoping to cash in here, unlike last year when he walked away with the second place prize which was half of that amount. This final will be contested in a best of five format.