Gabriel Clemens (39) has the chance to create something historic on Friday!
In the round of 16 of the Darts World Cup, he meets Alan Soutar (44). The Scotsman is a very special opponent – despite his successful darts career, he works as a firefighter.
You can see at first glance that Alan Soutar feels a special connection to his homeland. He wears checkered trousers, his jersey is adorned with the Scottish collar, the white Saint Andrew’s cross on a blue background.
If the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) dress code didn’t exist, he’d probably throw his darts into a kilt. The 44-year-old is a passionate patriot and proud to represent his colors on the main stage at the World Darts Championship in London.
He is at Alexandra Palace for the second time and after the elimination of reigning champion Peter Wright, two-time world champion Gary Anderson and Cameron Menzies this time again as the last Scotsman. However, to advance to the quarter-finals for the first time, he must defeat Germany’s number one.
Friday, he will play the second duel of the afternoon session (from 1:30 p.m.) against Gabriel Clemens (Sport1 / DAZN and im BILD Live Ticker), who would not only write a personal success story by reaching the round of 16. A German has never reached the quarter-finals of the PDC world championship. However, a fireman has yet to reach the final days of the tournament after New Year’s Eve.
The professional circuit of darts players has grown rapidly in recent years: more money, more tournaments, more internationality, more sponsors. Dozens of players can make a very good living throwing darts, the top stars are all millionaires and the world championship title alone is rewarded with £500,000.
Soutar, who has been on the circuit for two years, was also able to collect prize money as the No. 36 in the world rankings. He was £126,500 before the tournament, and qualifying for the round of 16 nets him a further £35,000.
Sufficient money to live in his hometown of 20,000 people on the Scottish east coast, but firefighter Soutar doesn’t even think of quitting his job. “I like having a lot to do,” Soutar says succinctly. He just doesn’t see his dual role as a burden. Plus, the Arbroath man doesn’t want to lose his pension rights.
Over the past two years, he’s found that success at darts doesn’t make it easier to balance, but he’s willing to make sacrifices. Same for this World Cup. When colleagues celebrated their Christmas party at the fire station on December 16, Soutar was on stage at Ally Pally and defeated Australian Mal Cuming.
And when a day later he caused the elimination of the first seed against Daryl Gurney at the 2023 World Darts Championship, he had no time to celebrate the victory or at least to relax after mentally exhausting days.
While other players took advantage of the three-day Christmas break to train or celebrate with family, Soutar pushed shifts to the station. “It’s my job,” says the bald, who already knows it since last year when he made his debut in the third round of the World Cup and worked in double shifts during the holidays: 14 hours on Christmas Eve, 4 p.m. on Christmas Day. .
Service hasn’t hurt his performance this year either. Against Danny Noppert, after any number nine in the world rankings, he started furiously on Wednesday afternoon after a 0:2 deficit for a 4:2 victory. When he checked 152 points for a 3:2 lead, he finally turned it around and continued in spectacular fashion. Six perfect darts made it 1-0 in the sixth round, with 130 points to make it 2-0 he earned another high finish and the preliminary decision.
Soutar gave his Dutch opponent just two sets in the last four sets. An average of 93.38 was sufficient thanks to its strong double rate of 50%. In the entire tournament, he conceded only three sets in three matches. Clemens is warned.
In general, no one should be surprised by the Scot’s strong performance. At the Grand Slam a month ago, the right-hander qualified for the quarter-finals for the first time in a major tournament. The form is correct. Even after his first ascent against Cuming, he was sure he could become world champion. “I want to win this,” he said. Two more victories followed, four still missing for the big triumph.
And if he doesn’t continue at Ally Pally after the end of the year, he doesn’t have to worry about a lack of work outside of shift work. With his wife Amanda, he trains guide dogs. Voluntarily.
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