Japanese star Suzuki celebrates (credit:live-darts.com)
Mikuru Suzuki was dubbed the “Phil Taylor” of ladies darts after becoming the first Asian World Champion at Lakeside on Saturday.
The Japanese star demolished England’s Lorraine Winstanley 3-0 in a ruthless display in the final, winning the opening two sets in just 15 minutes.
Suzuki, 36, picked up the £12,000 cheque thanks to a 90 average, dropping just two legs and going the entire tournament without losing a set.
Her husband flew in to watch her overnight and she admitted: “I knew that coming in that Lorraine was a fantastic player so I just wanted to play my best game and try to win it.
“It was really fantastic to have my husband here to watch me.
“For this tournament it was my best darts and for possible the past year. Baby Shark has helped me with the fans with my walk-on!
“The 148 was my best but next time I want to go for the 170 checkout.”
A tearful Winstanley, who emulated husband Dean as a Lakeside final runner-up, said: “How am I feeling? I think that’s pretty obvious, I’m gutted. But I made the final. Without a doubt I’ll be back again.”
Eurosport pundit Chris Mason said: “This will change the face of Ladies darts forever. If you look on social media Mikuru is an absolute mega star. That’s huge for the game.
“She is the Phil Taylor of the ladies game. He raised the bar for the men, this is the same for the ladies game.
“But I wouldn’t be surprised to see something massive happen in Asia now on the back of this for ladies darts and rightly so.
“Now they have a player to take it to another level.”
Suzuki opened up the contest with a 140, which marked the beginning of a relentless scoring spree from the Japanese soft-tip star.
The pressure was piled back on to Winstanley as Suzuki took out 148, the second biggest checkout of the women’s competition, in the second leg.
She tied up the first set with an 80 checkout before starting the second set in similar fashion.
Back to back 180s put the crowd on edge as she searched for the first nine-dart finish by a female player on the iconic Lakeside stage.
Unfortunately the seventh dart was missed, but after missing double 10 for a 140, ‘The Miracle’ took a two leg lead in the second set.
A cool 74 finish secured the second set and then it was tops at the first attempt to make history and cap a clinical performance.
The pundits were blown away by Suzuki, with Paul Nicholson adding: “This is a game-changer for the women’s game. It’s a new era and the best performance I’ve ever seen in this final.”
Tony O’Shea offered: “This result will send shock waves through the darts world.”
Three-time World Champion Martin Adams said: “I feel sorry for Lorraine standing behind this lady rail-roading her, she must have been shell-shocked. What a performance from Mikuru, beyond belief.
“It’s the most sensational we’ve ever seen in Ladies darts. It’s a repeat of Keith Deller’s run in the mens’ in 1983.”