Canadian Jeff Smith is seen during his Grand Slam Of Darts match against Ted Evetts, in Wolverhampton, UK in a Nov. 13, 2016, handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-PDC, Christopher Dean

Canadian Jeff Smith is seen during his Grand Slam Of Darts match against Ted Evetts, in Wolverhampton, UK in a Nov. 13, 2016, handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-PDC, Christopher Dean

Canadians Smith, Campbell, Norman Jr., to play at World Darts Championships

Norman makes his world championship debut

LONDON — Jeff (The Silencer) Smith, Matt (Ginja Ninja) Campbell and John Norman Jr. will carry Canadian colours at the William Hill World Darts Championship starting next week in England.

The 2.5-million-pound (CS$2.34 million) tournament runs Dec. 15 through Jan. 3 at London’s Alexandra Palace with the field of 96 vying for a purse that ranges from 7,500 pounds (C$12,700) for a first-round loser to 500,000 pounds ($846,555) for the winner.

Smith, a veteran of the world championships, will face England’s Ross (Smudger) Smith in the first round with the winner moving on to meet No. 16 Steven Bunting of England.

The draw did no favours for Campbell, who takes on two-time world champion Adrian (Jackpot) Lewis to start. The winner will face No. 6 Gary Anderson of Scotland who avenged a 2011 world championship final loss to Lewis by beating him in the 2016 final. Anderson also won the crown in 2015, defeating darts legend Phil (The Power) Taylor.

Campbell qualified for the world championships via the PDC Unicorn European Challenge Tour rankings.

Campbell, a welder from Hamilton, and Smith, a native of Hampton, N.B., who works at an auto body shop in nearby Saint John, teamed up to reach the quarterfinals of the 2020 World Cup of Darts in Austria.

Norman makes his world championship debut after qualifying from the CDC Canadian Tour. The 47-year-old from Newfoundland represented Canada at the 2017 World Cup of Darts, partnering John (Darth Maple) Part, and was runner-up at the 2018 North American Championship in Las Vegas.

Norman will face England’s Chas Barstow with the winner taking on No. 3 Michael van Gerwen, a three-time winner of the tournament from the Netherlands.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 6, 2021.

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