Updated: Saturday, 4th April 2020 @ 10:16am

Darts at the Olympics? Unlikely, says top player Tony O’Shea

Darts at the Olympics? Unlikely, says top player Tony O’Shea

By Steven Oldham

Lakeside semi-finalist Tony O’Shea believes darts will never be a part of the Olympic Games despite high-profile backing for the sport’s introduction.

Seven sports, including squash, karate and wakeboarding have all submitted bids to be part of the 2020 Games, with the International Olympic Committee due to make a decision in September, at the same time the host city for 2020 is announced. 

The Olympic programme for Rio 2016 is full, with the maximum of 28 sports already filled, meaning one or more sports will need to be dropped to accommodate the hopefuls. 

Tony said: “Personally I can’t see it. For it to be in the Olympics would mean you would have to take away the drinking side of it and if that happened, I don’t see how you would have enough players to compete! 

Darts is a pub sport – it is what it is.  Without the booze, I doubt the atmosphere would be the same and that’s what makes our sport.” 

Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor recently talked up darts as an Olympic discipline following his 16th world title win.

Speaking to BBC Sport, he said: "If we got in there,I'd be chuffed to bits.  I don't think it'll be in my lifetime but you never know.

I think the problem is, if you put darts in there, then another sport has got to drop out and I don't think that's fair. They've been there and we're taking their place, I suppose."

Clive Woodward, former British Olympic Association director Tweeted that darts was ‘definitely’ an Olympic sport whilst cricketer-turned-boxer Andrew Flintoff has also leant his support.

With no bid for a place at 2020 submitted, it will be at least 12 years before we have the possibility of players stepping up to the oche at the Olympics.

Tony said: “It would be great for the younger players if it ever happens to be part of an Olympic Games.”

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Image courtesy of ESPN, with thanks