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Brandon darts player Amanda Harwood made to wait to make her WDF Lakeside World Championships debut

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Amanda Harwood has been left with mixed emotions after qualifying for the WDF Lakeside World Championships for the first time.

On the one hand, the Brandon-based darts player is delighted to have realised what is a lifelong ambition.

However, Wednesday’s announcement that the tournament has been delayed by three months until April due to Covid-19 has left a major feeling of uncertainty.

Amanda Harwood's Lakeside debut has been put back until April. Picture: Mecha Morton
Amanda Harwood's Lakeside debut has been put back until April. Picture: Mecha Morton

She said: “It’s totally frustrating and it came out of the blue. It’s all very uncertain now and I’m not sure how they can have a World Championships four months into a tour.

“There will be other players climbing the ranks and others dropping, so it’s difficult to know what is going to happen.”

There had been a nervy wait towards the end of the qualification process for Harwood.

Ranked 16th, results from tournaments in Italy and Russia last month could have seen the her drop out of contention, but there was to be no late heartbreak.

“When you go on the circuit, the main aim for any player is to one day to get yourself to Lakeside,” added Harwood, who plays darts for Fordham and Cambridgeshire.

“This was my first proper go at qualifying and to be honest I didn’t think I’d get as far as I did.

“It was very nervy because there was girls from England going out to Italy and Russia to try to get some extra points.

“You’re waiting for someone to overtake you, but thankfully it didn’t happen.

“It’s the main tournament for us ladies to go for and to know I’ve got my place is amazing.”

Harwood’s campaign was due to begin on New Year’s Day with a clash against Marjolein Noijens, who she has beaten before.

The winner was then set to advance through to take on seventh seed Maria O’Brien – the 2019 semi-finalist.

It is thought that the draw will remain the same for the delayed event, although further details are due to be released over the coming days.

Meanwhile, the WDF’s secretary general Nick Rolls explained the decision by saying: “Clearly this is a disappointing decision to have to make, especially as momentum and excitement was building around the return to Lakeside.

“But the health and safety of our players and supporters must be our first priority.”

“`Travel is also becoming increasingly restrictive, and with so many players to consider coming from overseas, it is essential to the WDF and their member nations that they are still able to compete in what is truly a global championship.

“We hope that having now rescheduled, it keeps those players dreams alive from all over the world.”