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  Monday, 8 January, 2001, 02:25 GMT
Streaker tops Frimley Green bill
Streaker failed to break Hankey's concentration
Ted Hankey eased to a 3-0 victory over Shaun Greatbatch at Frimley Green on Sunday, despite being overshadowed by darts' first streaker.

Hankey had just gone 2-0 up in his best-of-five-sets match when a naked young woman ran onto the Lakeside Country Club stage and waved her arms.


I was comfortable and wanted to go on playing but I asked Shaun and he wanted to go off
Ted Hankey
Both players were clearly unsettled and the match was brought to a halt while the woman was apprehended by security staff.

As she was escorted from the premises, the streaker was given a standing ovation by the audience, many of whom broke out into a chorus of `Who Let The Dogs Out', a popular anthem among darts followers.

After a delay of 20 minutes, the players reappeared on stage and the break seemed to have done little to detract from Hankey's concentration as the 32-year-old quickly wrapped up the victory.

'The Count' lost only two legs to 31-year-old Norfolk qualifier Greatbatch, including the first of the match against the darts, but quickly started to show the form that carried him to the crown last year.

Interruption

The Rhyl-based seventh seed's finishing was clinical and he notched up six maximum scores of 180 in achieving an average of 31.34 per dart thrown.

But despite his impressive display, Hankey admitted the incident with the streaker had taken the shine off his success.


I've been watching darts for 20 years, waited 18 years to play in this tournament and this goes and happens to me
Shaun Greatbatch
"I'd just stepped up to throw when I heard everyone shouting," he said.

"The girl ran across in front of me and then went round the far end of the arena.

"I was comfortable and wanted to go on playing but I asked Shaun and he wanted to go off.

"It's taken a lot off the victory for me. Everyone seems to think it's a big joke and a good laugh, but we wait 12 months to play here and Shaun's broken-hearted because it was his first time here and he didn't perform.

"It interfered with the game. I won't blame security because the boys do a great job. They might look at it and decide to do something about it but I certainly won't blame them."

Greatbatch admitted he was devastated with the result.

"I've been watching darts for 20 years, waited 18 years to play in this tournament and this goes and happens to me," he said.

"I wasn't nervous during the match but the streaker certainly affected my game. I just wish I'd got her name and address!

"But Ted played very well and it seemed that every time I got to a double he managed to check out."

World Darts Championship


INTERACTIVE DARTS

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See also:

06 Jan 01 | Football
07 Aug 00 | Cricket
07 Jan 01 | World Darts Championship
Links to more World Darts Championship stories are at the foot of the page.


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