It seems like everywhere you look in the sports world, women are doing things that no one expected. They’re playing on men’s high school football teams. They’re making strides as coaches. And now it looks like there’s one more item to add to the list. A woman has won a competitive game of darts.
Meet ‘Darts Queen’ Fallon Sherrock
25-year-old Fallon Sherrock of the UK is the first to defeat a male player in competition during the Professional Darts Corporation World Championship match in London. It is the best-known tournament in the sport, and her win is shaking things up. Some are even calling her the ‘darts Queen.’
Sherrock is only the 5th woman who has ever played in the tournament and the first to win a match against a man. While accomplishing this feat just once is an enormous victory, she quickly followed up with a second, even more significant win. That time she beat the 11th ranked player in the world to advance to the third round of the competition.
Sherrock’s victory wasn’t necessarily expected, but it wasn’t a surprise either. A string of 2019 successes caused her to be known as a well-regarded, stand-out player. The championship victories, however, have shot her reputation into the stratosphere.
Stunned By Her Win
Sherrock was stunned by her victory. Success is new to her, as she picked up the sport of darts relatively recently when she was just 17. At that time, she was a hairdresser who thought that she’d give something else a try.
Although she was grateful for the support, she found the praise and admiration for her two wins to be overwhelming. Sherrock was celebrated with rounds of praise from a range of notables around the globe, including tennis champion Billie Jean King, and television presenters Piers Morgan, Jacqui Oatley and Gabby Logan.
The Sport Wasn’t Always Easy On Women Or On Sherrock
To give Sherrock’s wins some context, it’s worth noting that the tournament doesn’t have a strong history of female competitors. In fact, a woman hadn’t participated at all until Gayl King competed in 2000. Currently, in order to ensure female representation, the tournament needs to keep a mandated two spots open for women to fill. These two spots are part of a total number of 96 players each year who are allowed into the tournament.
Her recent victories notwithstanding, Sherrock hasn’t always found victories to be easy. She recalled a particularly challenging time when she had experienced kidney issues related to the birth of her child. The illness caused her face to swell, and as a result, she received extended amounts of negative comments on social media. However, it seems like Sherrock found her ultimate answer to that experience with her most recent two victories.
The Implications Of Her Win
Sherrock’s win has implications for the world of darts and for what women can do in sports as a whole. As she commented on her victories during an interview on Good Morning Britain, she told the world, “I’ve always had the game, but we women have never had the opportunity to prove it. Last night I proved to myself and the world that we women can play darts against men and we can beat them.”
There’s no doubt about the truth of Sherrock’s statement and about something more — that things in the world are changing. Perhaps, in the past, pubs have been mostly the domain of men who want to enjoy a pint and throw some darts to relax. Now, as more women are entering into that world, pub culture — in the United Kingdom and around the world — will never be the same.
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