Leighton Bennett storms to BDO World Youth Championship glory

Jamie Shaw in BDO Darts News 10 Jan 2019
Bennett celebrates with the trophy (credit:Eurosport)

Teenage sensation Leighton Bennett enjoyed a dream TV debut as he defeated Nathan Girvan 3-0 to claim the 2019 BDO World Youth title at Lakeside on Thursday.

Aged just 13, Bennett became the youngest ever winner of a BDO World Youth title and sealed the deal in style with a stunning 121 checkout on the bull.

Bennett burst onto the scene last year by winning the Cambridgeshire Open with victory over PDC professional Ricky Evans along the way and underlined his talent with a superb debut showing at Lakeside.

The Lincoln prodigy averaged 86.6 en route to a commanding straight sets triumph over Scotland's Girvan - who was forced to settle for the runner-up spot for the second time, having also lost out in the 2017 final to Justin van Tergouw.

Bennett, who was watched on by his mentor and stablemate Rob Cross, admitted: "It's absolutely awesome, it's a dream come true. 

"I've just put the work in and it’s paid off. I knew I was going to be up against a tough player but I knew if I played my 'A' game I could do it, and I did."

The £5,000 winner's cheque caps off a memorable week for the teenager, who has been snapped up by Nevada Aspire and SAP in a “significant investment” which includes backing with Apple products, personal insurance and private medical care.
 
Cross told Live Darts: "There's so much money in the sport now, it has to be taken up seriously as kids.

"If you look at the success Gareth Southgate is now getting with England football, maybe a lot of that came from the training at St George's Park.

"It's the same in tennis and golf. Andy Murray spent his school years out in Spain training as a kid to get to the standard he needed.

"Now it's the turn of darts to get that professional. SAP and Nevada have seen this and are the first to sign a player up so young. Leighton is a really bright kid and I can't wait to work with him.

"You never know he could be another English World Champion in six or seven years earning over a million by winning it. The preparation has to start now."



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Leighton Bennett storms to BDO World Youth Championship glory

Teenage sensation Leighton Bennett enjoyed a dream TV debut as he defeated Nathan Girvan 3-0 to claim the 2019 BDO World Youth title at Lakeside on Thursday.

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