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Article: Jamie Lewis - I Did it My Way

Jamie Lewis - I Did it My Way

Facing one of his worst years as a professional darts player, Jamie trudged off to the World Championship qualifiers with no idea that he’d be the dart player creating the world’s largest story smashing all the record books for the achievements of any preliminary qualifier ever set. During the World Championship qualifiers Jamie was sublime, he finished everything he needed when facing elimination at several stages, but was so happy to have made the ‘Worlds’ knowing that he really belongs at the top end of the darts professional ranks. "Missing the ‘Worlds’ qualifying automatically really hurt me as it’s the minimum benchmark any serious professional should have really, so I was determined to give the qualifiers my absolute best. I'd been playing loads of local level darts again and really started playing well and enjoying my darts. I first saw a glimmer of my real form in a few tight games, notably with Paul Nicholson who was playing really well, so to get through was a massive relief". Upon qualifying at the ‘Worlds’, Jamie faced a preliminary round with Kenny Neyens that was not straight forward, edging the game 2-1 and leaving him with the prospect of playing his best friend and fellow Welshman Jonny Clayton. "As if qualifying and playing a preliminary wasn't hard enough I faced Jonny Clayton, one of my longest standing best friends in darts, who is also in great form. To be honest my family aside, I don’t think anyone gave me a chance in that game. We have played each other so many times I've lost count as to who holds the bragging rights, but I've got them for a while at least!!” Jamie’s prize for winning the first round game was to face one of the biggest pre-event favourites in World No.2 Peter Wright, himself recovering from a recent illness. But Jamie paid scant attention to that and delivered a comprehensive win recording a 107 average on the way, in a display that was every bit as good as any player at the World Championships to date. “I really hit the ground running against Peter, my new darts had been feeling amazing for the past 3 months, but it was against Peter they came alive and I just felt so calm and confident in my finishing. Peter is such an inspiration to me as he works so hard and is so positive around us younger guys. As driven as he is, the way he reacted after the game was class and a lesson to us all”. With the World No.2 at home with his feet up, Jamie was up against the in form James Richardson who had smashed Alan Norris 4-1 and again Jamie went off like a firecracker defying the commentators who effectively said Jamie’s win over Peter was a flash in the pan and the change in dynamics would see him struggle to win the game. Jamie Lewis, James Richardson, William Hill, World Championships, Darts “I didn’t listen to that much being said to be honest, just kept doing my thing by practicing my routines and sticking to what I know. James is a really nice guy and such a good player but I got in the flow early and punished a few misses from him that let me get my nose in front and edge the win.” With Simon Whitlock failing to beat Darren Webster it was Jamie’s turn to face the confident Norwich thrower in the heady heights of the World Championship Quarter Finals. Jamie flew off again setting the pace with reckless abandon, handing out a white washing for the likeable Webster. “Darren has been around for ages and he beats so many good players week in week out he deserves more recognition. I got off to another great start which helped but to win 5-0 was an absolute relief as I’m not sure I fancied a really tight game!” With Phil Taylor beating an injured Gary Anderson, Jamie faced what was the biggest game of his entire life. The pre-match hype was almost unpalatable for both parties, with both potentially writing the biggest fairy tale ever in darts, but it wasn’t to be as Jamie struggled to keep his sublime finishing going eventually going down 6 – 1. “I watched the game with Gary and Phil as I’m a fan of them both be honest, and we go back a long way. Gary looked in pain but Phil still had to win the match. Then the thought of playing the games biggest legend in the semi-final of the World Championship was literally unbelievable and I could feel the adrenalin pumping immediately. "When they called my name to walk up on stage I was absolutely blown away by the noise and atmosphere and my whole body was bouncing unlike I’d never known, which got even worse when Phil came on stage! It was amazing to take the first set but to be honest I never really settled on my doubles as the occasion was just so big. I’ve no regrets as I gave it may absolute best and more than that it gave me a chance to really show my thanks to all my family, especially Kylie and our daughter Jorgie, my Mum and Dad, Red Dragon and all the people of Cardigan and Carmarthen who have shown me absolutely unbelievable amounts of support that I’m so grateful to them all for, as it helps spur me on working towards being the best in the world every day”. Follow Jamie on Twitter: @jamiedarts180

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