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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 January, 2004, 14:05 GMT
Fordham rejects fitness jibes
LAKESIDE WORLD DARTS FINAL
Andy Fordham
Andy Fordham v Mervyn King
BBC Two 1800 GMT
Lakeside World Championship finalist Andy Fordham says he has the stamina to play his best for nine sets or more.

"The Viking" won through to his first Lakeside final with a 5-4 win over Raymond van Barneveld and afterwards dismissed concerns over his fitness.

"Some people turn around and say I haven't got the stamina because I'm too big," said Fordham, who will face Mervyn King in Sunday's finale.

"I tell people that these trainers aren't for show, I'm an athlete."

Fordham had reached the Lakeside semi-finals four times before Saturday's match without managing to reach the final.

But he finally reached the showpiece with a brilliant fightback from 4-1 down against title favourite Barneveld.

And the 41-year-old is confident he can last the distance in the final against King, even if the title comes down to a decider in the best-of-11 sets final.

"When you get up there you just have to get on with it and not worry about what other people think," he said.

"But I won 5-4 against Darryl Fitton here (at the Lakeside World Championship) and I just lost out in the deciding set against Raymond van Barneveld at the Winmau World Masters in November, even though I played well.

"I've also been involved in a couple of competitions in Holland that have gone to a ninth set."





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