Tony David stands one win away from an unlikely triumph after reaching the final of the Embassy World Championship here yesterday.
The Australian's medical problems forced him to spend much of his childhood in hospital, and doctors told his parents that they did not expect him to live beyond his teens. But yesterday the 34-year-old, who suffers from a blood-clotting disorder which means he walks with a limp and cannot straighten his throwing arm, held off the second seed, Martin Adams, 5-4 in a dramatic encounter.
The world No 18 will attempt to become only the second non-European to take the world title today when he faces England's Mervyn King for the £48,000 first prize.
Adams, the Peterborough professional and England captain, won the opening set yesterday without losing a leg. But the Queenslander hit back to lead 3-1 at the break. A brilliant 10-dart leg put Adams clear in the fifth, but David rallied to go 4-1 up. Adams stormed back to level at 4-4, and the tension clearly affected both players, as the first four legs of the decider all went against the darts.
But David has shown fantastic composure all week and, after breaking Adams for 3-2, he capitalised as Adams missed two darts at double 16, checking out with "tops" to finish it off.
In the other semi-final, King produced a stirring performance to outclass Colin Monk, displaying clinical finishing to emerge a comprehensive 5-1 winner, hitting 10 maximum scores of 180.
King edged the first set, then raced through the second to make it 2-0. Monk cut his deficit in the next, but King was two sets ahead again by the interval thanks to a 153 finish. There was no way back for Monk. A 121 finish put King 4-1 up, before sealing the win with a double four.Reuse content