Darts in Mongolia

I'm still playing catch-up with items DDN readers have sent me from months ago and I am pleased to say that, at last, I am able to report about the growing fever for darts in Mongolia. A press cutting relating to the subject 2013 came to me via Dr. Eddie Norman in April this year. It's from The Guardian dated 26th October.

In a country better known for sports such as wrestling, riding and archery, it seems that darts is taking the country by storm with already 2,000 sports men and women 'converted' to darts. The first Premier League darts tournament took place on 6th June 2013, co-organised by the British Embassy in Ulaanbaatar and the Mongolian Darts Federation when the top ten players from 300 entries competed in a round-robin format.

2013 was the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and the United Kingdom and, believe it or not, the 20th anniversary of the foundation of the Darts Federation in Mongolia. Erdene Mandakh, President of the Mongolian Amateur Darts Federation told The Guardian, "When we began entering darts competitions people would say, "How can you guys play? We thought you lived in gers [felt tents] and rode horses; do you even have any buildings? Now they have stopped asking; they just see us as competitors. But this is only a start."

Twice national women's champion, 49-year-old Baatar Tsend, tried darts once and became hooked. She said, "There is nothing bad about darts. I am in love with darts." Smitten? I should say so. On one occasion she continued to play even though a nearby stove had set her fur coat on fire! Baatar added, "Since ancient times our people have been practising archery.They've got great aim, so maybe this is in our genes or something: our special Mongolian genes."

President Erdene Mandakh said, "Of course our dream is to play against English people and beat them. Our dream is to become world champions." Nearly one year since that article appeared, I wonder how much more the sport of darts has grown in Mongolia.

I wish the committee and players of the Mongolian Amateur Darts Federation every success and hope to see their representative at the Ally Pally or Lakeside sometime soon.

Dr. Darts' Newsletter - Issue 51 - August 2014

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