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Olympic call for darts ahead of BDO World Championship

ESPN staff
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Christian Kist is the reigning BDO champion © PA Photos
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Former Team GB director of elite sport Sir Clive Woodward has advocated the inclusion of darts in future Olympic Games, with 2024 targeted for its inception.

Woodward was clearly enthused by the recent PDC World Championship final, which saw the talented Michael van Gerwen defeated 7-4 in a thriller by 16-time world champion Phil Taylor.

Darts will get another dose of action involving the sport's top stars, beginning this weekend, when the BDO World Championship gets underway on ESPN. It is another chance to prove it belongs in future Olympics.

"Darts definitely an Olympic sport - look at fans, TV coverage, audience and real skill under pressure," Woodward tweeted in the aftermath of the Taylor v Van Gerwen final.

Taylor certainly believes darts would be a roaring success at the Olympics, commenting: "I think we've got every chance of being an Olympic sport and, if they did put us in, I know they'd sell a lot of tickets and the atmosphere would be fantastic."

The year of 2024 is the earliest darts could be brought under the Olympic banner, due to the process in which the sport must first gain recognition from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and then actually complete the application process.

An IOC spokesman said: "Any sport can apply for recognition, and then they would have to apply to be on the programme - the next opportunity would be 2024."

Christian Kist is the defending champion when the BDO World Championship commences this weekend. Kist beat Tony O'Shea in last year's final.

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