Darts superstars prepare for the BDO World Championship, in its 28th year at Lakeside in Frimley Green
Forget the party hats and renditions of Auld Lang Syne, it's new year and that can only mean one thing – darts is back at Lakeside.
In its 28th year of hosting the world championships, the undisputed home of darts welcomes back 2013 champions Scott Waites and Anastasia Dobromyslova to Frimley Green to defend their titles in an eight-day feast on the oche, starting this Saturday (January 4).
This year, a largest ever field of 40 men and 16 women will be competing for the most prestigious title in world darts – making the championships bigger and better than ever before.
And once again, the BDO World Championship is set to attract a live television audience of millions around the globe through BBC Sport and its world partners during the week.
Waites, seeded seventh this year, begins his defence against compatriot Alan Norris but it is another all-English clash which has the Lakeside crowd licking their lips – even though it might not actually happen.
Fans’ favourite Tony O'Shea, who became the first player to lose three BDO finals after crashing 7-1 to Waites last year, could find himself opening against great friend and three-time winner Martin Adams.
‘Wolfie’ Adams is unseeded this year and first must get through a preliminary round qualifier against Canada’s David Cameron on Saturday with the winner taking on the Silverback next Tuesday afternoon.
Number one seed this year is England’s Stephen Bunting, the two-time World Masters champion, who also opens his account in the Tuesday afternoon session against either Jim Widmayer, of the USA, or England’s Garry Thompson, while fourth seed Robbie ‘Kong’ Green faces a tough first-round match against last year’s sensation Richie George, son of the legendary Bobby George, on Sunday afternoon.
Women’s champion Dobromyslova, seeded three, begins her defence against Karin Krappen, of the Netherlands, while nine-time champion Trina Gulliver MBE opens against Tamara Schuur.