Deta Hedman forfeits match against Noa-Lynn van Leuven at the Denmark Open in transgender protest

Deta Hedman forfeited her match against Noa-Lynn van Leuven at the Denmark Open in an apparent protest over the inclusion of transgender women in women’s events.

The pair were due to meet in the quarter-finals of the WDF gold ranked event on Saturday, but Hedman opted to withdraw prior to the match, meaning Van Leuven received a bye through to the semi-finals.

Hedman has been outspoken in her opposition to transgender players competing in women’s competitions, believing it is “damaging” to women’s darts and calling for a ban.

Van Leuven became the first trans woman to feature in a televised darts tournament at the Women’s World Matchplay last July and has enjoyed success this year by winning two PDC Women’s Series titles, as well as a Challenge Tour event in a predominantly male field.

Hedman also competed in the WDF World Championship last December, which saw New Zealand’s Victoria Monaghan become the first transgender participant at Lakeside.

Hedman had defeated Tone Rommen, Kelly Streef and Natalie Gilbert to reach the Last Eight in Denmark, before withdrawing from the event prior to her match against Van Leuven.

The 64-year-old, who has been a stalwart of women’s darts for five decades, recently cast doubt over her playing future following the latest batch of the PDC Women’s Series events, tweeting: “Always said I would stop playing when the enjoyment has gone from playing, think the present issues with the ladies game that time is getting closer.”

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