In a Pioneer special report, ALEC DOYLE charts the unlikely rise to stardom of Ellesmere Port’s latest world champion – darts sensation Anastasia Dobromyslova
ANASTASIA Dobromyslova has come a long way from throwing her first arrows in her home town of Tver in Russia to bringing the Lakeside World Darts title to Ellesmere Port.
The 23-year-old, who won her maiden world title at Frimley Green earlier this month, first picked up a set of darts aged 12, despite the sport not being very big in Russia.
“I had a go one day and I liked it,” she said. “I never thought you could make a living from it or win a world title, though.
“Then someone showed me videos of Eric Bristow and I was awestruck by what he did and the atmosphere of the Lakeside. That was where I wanted to be.
“I stuck with it and won the Russian championship six times, which wasn’t too tough because there was not a lot of competition.
“I moved into international competition and would travel to Finland and around Europe playing in events.”
It was through darts that Ana met Tony Martin, the Port-based darts player she is set to marry later this year. The couple now live together in Princes Road.
“We were at a tournament in Finland two years ago and we got on well,” explained Ana. “We have been seeing each other since.
“We train together and it can get competitive. He is better than me but he has a knee injury at the moment so it has evened things up a little!”
Ana has been studying towards a Culture degree from Moscow University, which she is due to complete this spring but, despite there not being a professional women’s darts game at the moment, she plans to travel the world competing in tournaments.
“There is a major difference between the women’s game and the men’s game,” said Ana. “The men’s champion gets £85,000, the women’s just £6,000.
“But I still want to compete as a champion and I plan to go to the Dutch Open, the Belgian Open, the German Open and also do exhibitions wherever I can. Then I will return to the Lakeside to defend my title.”
Having tasted success at the Lakeside like her hero Bristow, Ana won a new army of fans with her emotive displays on her way to the title.
She defeated seven-time champion Trina Gulliver in the final and is now setting her sights on creating her own Lakeside legacy.
“Why not? I will try to keep the title for a second year next time and I might do that,” said the confident Russian, who plays pub darts for the Travellers Rest in Little Sutton. “I am not saying I will break the record but it is there, it is possible that someone will break it. It will not stand forever.”
Ana’s boyfriend Tony, 26, who left the breakaway PDC organisation to join his girlfriend on the BDO circuit, praised his fiancee’s achievement.
“I was so proud of her when she won,” he said. “She played so well and Trina had never been beaten but she did it and it was great.”