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Wade gets satisfactory first round draw

ASH darts master James Wade has been handed a favourable draw in his first ever Embassy World Darts Championship campaign in January.

ASH darts master James Wade has been handed a favourable draw in his first ever Embassy World Darts Championship campaign in January.

Wade, who at 18 is the second youngest player ever to qualify for the prestigious tournament, takes on unknown qualifier Dennis Harbour in the first round, but will have to wait until Monday night to start his bid for the title and consequent £50,000 prize money.

And more good news for Wade is that he avoids World Champion and World number one Tony David, who is placed in the top half of the draw.

But if Wade is to get to the final, he will still have to cross the likes of number two seed Raymond Barneveld and last year's finalist Mervyn King — King in the second round if he beats Steve Coote in the final first round match-up.

Wade said: "I'm quite happy with the draw, it could have been a lot, lot better but then again, it could have been worse also. I've never played Dennis Harbour before, so it will be interesting.

It's harder to qualify to the Embassy through qualifying than it is through the points system, so he's obviously quite handy to get to this stage. I'm not worried about him though.

"I was looking forward to playing Tony David, so I'm a little disappointed we are in different halves of the draw, but I'm not disappointed that I'm separated from ‘Fordy' {Andy Fordham}, he is a very steady player.

"It's quite exciting to contemplate playing Mervyn King in the second round, if I get there. He's not playing very well at all at the moment but I dare say that will all change for the Embassy."

Elsewhere, the first ever Australian World number one and current Embassy champion Tony David is pitted against top qualifier Brian Sorensen of Denmark, having enjoyed a fantastic season to date.

Arguably the biggest match sees England captain Martin Adams, seeded four, take on popular Dutchman Co Stompe in a Sunday lunchtime classic.

A total of 11 countries will be represented by the 32 players in the Men's finals with four countries represented by the eight players in the Women's finals.

Here, number one seed Francis Hoenselaar faces fellow Dutch player Karen Krappen, while her closest rival, Trina Gulliver, takes on Dawn Standley.

The draw in full reads: Saturday January 4, 2003 (Best of five sets) - Jarkko Komula (Fin) v Vincent Van Der Voort (Ned); Tony David (1) (Aus) v Brian Sorensen (Den), Ritchie Davies (Wal) v Albertino Essers (Ned), John Walton (8) (Eng) v Martin Phillips (Wal), Peter Johnstone (Sco) v Garey Anderson (Sco), Andy Fordham (5) (Eng) v Stefan Nagy (Swe). Sunday January 5 - Peter Hunt (NZ) v Bob Taylor (Sco); Martin Adams (4) (Eng) v Co Stompe (Ned), Daryll Fitton (Eng) v John Burton (Wal), Raymond Barneveld (2) (Ned) v Matt Clark (Eng), Gary Robson (Eng) v Robert Wagner (Nor), Tony Eccles (8) (Eng) v Erik Clarys (Bel). Monday January 6 - Colin Monk (Eng) v Shaun Greatbatch (Eng); Tony O'Shea (6) (Eng) v Ted Hankey (Eng), Dennis Harbour (Eng) v James Wade (Eng), Mervyn King (3) (Eng) v Steve Coote (Eng).

The women's draw reads: Francis Hoenselaar (1) (Ned) v Karen Krappen (Ned); Anne Kirk (4) (Sco) v Gaynor Williams (Wal), Trina Gulliver (2) (Eng) v Dawn Standley (Eng), Mieke De Boer (3) (Ned) v Linda Rogers-Pickett (Wal).

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