Un­fit Phil to push even harder af­ter record 13th ti­tle

DARTS

Midweek Sport - - THURSDAY AUG 1 -

PHIL TAY­LOR will use darts’ sum­mer break to im­prove his fit­ness, de­spite win­ning a record 13th World Match­play ti­tle.

Tay­lor con­tin­ued his dom­i­nance on the oche by claim­ing his fifth suc­ces­sive World Match­play crown with a 18-15 de­feat of James Wade in Sun­day’s fi­nal.

The win scooped Tay­lor a £100,000 first prize and en­sures that he re­tains his place at the top of darts’ world rank­ings as he ap­proaches his 52nd birthday on Au­gust 13.

Tay­lor in­sisted that he will spend time work­ing on his fit­ness dur­ing darts “closed sea­son”.

“I wasn’t fit enough and I felt it on stage,” ad­mit­ted Tay­lor. “Ev­ery time James came back at me I seemed to find an ex­tra push, but my en­ergy lev­els were go­ing up and down.

“It’s hot on stage and I was drink­ing a lot of wa­ter and try­ing to take deep breaths to get the oxy­gen in and calm my­self down.

“I didn’t per­form like I can but it was prob­a­bly one of the most dif­fi­cult fi­nals I’ve had be­cause I’m get­ting older.

“I’m not as fit as I used to be and you’ve got to work at it, so I’ve got to work harder.”

Tay­lor had be­gun the Black­pool com­pe­ti­tion by us­ing a new set of ar­rows.

Ad­just­ments

But af­ter av­er­ag­ing only 91 in his sec­ond round win over Justin Pipe he re­turned us­ing his old bar­rels.

The Stoke thrower will continue to tin­ker with his darts ahead of Septem­ber’s Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship in Ger­many.

He added: “The darts are fan­tas­tic and they’re the best darts I’ve ever played with in prac­tice.

“On stage, with the heat in Black­pool, they weren’t fly­ing as they should do so we’ll make a few ad­just­ments.

“It was in my head more than my arm.”

HARD-WORK­ING CHAMP: Tay­lor

FI­NAL­IST:

Wade

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