Haemophiliac David lifts world title

 

Australia's Tony David, a haemophiliac who cannot fully straighten his throwing arm, won the world darts championship tonight.

A 6-4 victory over fourth seed Mervyn King of England earned the brilliant Queenslander a place in darts history.

The 34-year-old has one leg 4cm shorter than the other, walks with a slight limp and is unable to run.

He describes himself as a "disability pensioner" and his winning cheque of $69,000 represents about 10 years' worth of pension allowance. He clinched the title with a double 10 after missing out on six previous match points.

David, world ranked 18, started the week-long tournament as a 50-1 outsider but his consistent throwing and coolness under pressure saw off a series of top rated players.

As a child, doctors feared he would not live to be 20, but David, who needs injections every other day, defied medical opinion.

David told BBC TV, who covered the tournament for an audience running into millions: "Unbelievable. It's something I have always wanted. I had several darts to win it but Mervyn kept coming back."

King said: "He played some tremendous darts. I just wish I could have played half as well as he did." -Reuters