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Darts Festival this weekend

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

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Bajan darts players will have to be at their very best if they are to challenge for the top prizes at this year’s BrydenStokes Barbados Darts Festival as the line up of participants from overseas already includes a host of previous winners.
The last festival, held in November 2011, attracted entries from 11 different nations and this year a record number of visitors are coming from Britain, Europe, United States and Canada.
Overseas participants will be participating in a series of “warm-up” social contests. The major tournaments take place at Solidarity House from 7:30 tonight until Sunday.
The two top-ranked players from Britain and Austria are Alan Collins and Aaron Hardy. Collins, an experienced top division county player was the most successful competitor at the 2011 festival, winning the men’s pairs, the mixed nations men’s pairs and the mixed triples as well as reaching the final of the men’s singles.
In that final he was narrowly defeated by Aaron Hardy, still in his early 30s and who is ranked No. 3 in Austria. Michael Craig, from Canada, is another player with a pedigree having qualified for the Ontario Provincial Championships for the last two years.
The Caribbean contingent is likely to be led by former Caribbean and South American Masters winners Vivekanand Dyal from Trinidad and Sudesh Fitzgerald from Guyana. 
The Bajan challengers in the men’s events are expected to emerge from the group that recently represented Barbados at the WDF World Darts Championships in St John’s in Canada. 
The squad of Anthony Forde, Roger Edwards, Mark Griffith and Clyde Murrell found the going tough there and will need to pick up their games if they are to match their opponents from overseas.
Andrew Lewis, CEO of BrydenStokes, said: “We are delighted to be the title sponsor of an event that not only excites and improves standard of dart players in the region but also makes a significant contribution to our tourist economy by attracting a sizeable number of visitors to the country in the ‘low season’.” (BA/PR)