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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 January 2008, 17:48 GMT
Adams set for BDO title defence
by Elizabeth Hudson

Martin Adams
World Professional Darts Championship
Saturday 5-13 January
LIVE: On BBC TV, Interactive and Online (UK users only)

BDO world champion Martin Adams says the association can cope with the departure of leading names to the rival Professional Darts Corporation (PDC).

Adams, who launches the defence of his title at the Lakeside on Sunday, has rejected approaches to move and believes he has made the right choice.

"No matter how many players leave, they will be replaced by probably better players," he told BBC Sport.

"This is the tournament that every darts player wants to win."

Four-time Lakeside champion Raymond van Barneveld made the switch in 2006 while 2006 champion Jelle Klassen, Michael van Gerwen, Vincent van der Voort and Mervyn King moved last year.

But Adams, known as Wolfie, strongly rejects the suggestion that the Lakeside tournament, which starts on Saturday, has lost any of its prestige by their high-profile departures.

"What they do at the PDC tournament is sports entertainment but what we do at the Lakeside is sport," insisted the England captain.

"There's been a lot of interest in the PDC Championship over the last couple of weeks but that is mainly because people like watching darts. Don't be under any illusion it is better than Lakeside.

"The BDO has got a conveyer belt of talent around the world. We have replaced all those who have switched away and will continue to replace those who do."

Adams, 51, finally won the Lakeside title after 14 attempts and in his opening game will again face Phill Nixon in a repeat of last year's final.

In the best-of-13 sets decider, Adams looked set for a comfortable victory after building up a 6-0 lead against qualifier Nixon but he was pegged back to 6-6 before triumphing in the deciding set.

This year he is seeded fourth with a strong challenge likely to come from top seed Mark Webster and second seed Gary Anderson, with Robert Thornton, the winner of the World Masters in Bridlington, and former winners Ted Hankey and John Boy Walton also hoping to impress.

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"It was a huge relief to win, especially when Phill came back to level the match," said Adams, who also won the German Open and the Granite City Open in Aberdeen last year.

"I don't feel more pressure at the moment as defending champion but it might be different when the tournament starts.

"I will just approach it the same way as I did last year - taking the first round first and see what happens from there. You've got to win the first round before you can look further ahead but I'm as confident as I can be.

"I had a tough first-round game last year against Tony O'Shea and came through it OK so I'll have to do the same again this year against Phill."

You can watch the action from Lakeside on BBC TV, Interactive and Online starting on Saturday 5 January until Sunday 13 January (UK users only).



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