With the 2024 Darts World Championships now under way and several of the big names already through to round three, here are a list of names who will be challenging for a place in the final on January 3.
The current number 1 has struggled this year and was lucky to get past round 2 where Kevin Doets at one stage had a 2-1 lead on sets, Bully Boy pulled it back but will he have enough to retain his title?
Michael van Gerwen
Mighty Mike has already won this tournament three times in 2014, 2017 and 2019 and also finished as runner up three times – including last year where he fell short to Michael Smith. Van Gerwen stormed his way into round 3 beating Keane Barry in a match that lasted no longer than 25 minutes.
The Iceman won the competition in 2021 and looked in fine fettle when he eased past Connor Scutt in round 2 on Monday night winning 3-0 and only losing two legs in total. Despite winning the World Cup for Wales with Jonny Clayton, Gezzy hasn’t won any single major TV tournaments this year. Will 2024 start with a trophy for the Welshman?
Cool Hand Luke has already won three TV finals this year and will be hoping to make that four by adding the World Darts Championships to his name. Humphries eased past Lee Evans on Sunday night with a 3-0 victory and is the bookies favourite.
The flying Scotsman has won this tournament twice and did so back to back winning in 2015 and 2016. After a slip in form in recent years he seems to be back to his best this year romping past former World Cup winner Simon Whitlock in round 2.
Stephen Bunting is more of a fans favourite and could end up facing van Gerwen at the round of 16. The Bullet plays his opening game in round 2 on Saturday against the winner of Ryan Joyce and Alex Spellman. Having made the semi finals of The Players Championship and the Grand Slam why couldn’t Bunting be the new world champ?
Other names who are expected to reach the latter stages are 2018 winner Rob Cross, two time winner Peter Wright and this years World Matchplay winner Nathan Aspinall.
The Championship will end on January 3, 2024 live from Alexandra Palace.