Golden oldie Martin Adams goes into this year’s BDO World Championship convinced he could have two more decades at the top of darts.
Already the oldest winner of the championship – he was 54 years old when he won his third title in 2011 – Adams reckons he could go on to break his own record.
The 58-year-old from Deeping St James meets Jan Dekker in the first round at the Lakeside Country Club on Saturday.
Last year Dekker beat Adams in the quarter-finals but ‘Wolfie’ heads to Frimley Green in good form and believing there’s plenty more to come from him.
“Bobby George is still throwing good darts in his sixties and Lionel Smith was still playing top County darts at 75 years old, so if they can do it, why can’t I ?” said the No.3 seed.
“There’s no reason why I can’t keep competing if I keep believing in myself and don’t take anyone for granted.
“I’m just going to keep going. I’m playing well and I’ve got the experience because I’ve been there and done it before.
“But it is harder now than it’s ever been.
“The younger players are getting more opportunities to play in tournaments and they are getting better and better.
“But they still have to learn the game.”
Adams – ranked fourth favourite by the bookies for the world championship behind James Wilson, Alan Norris and Scott Waites – has clearly learned the game.
He won his first world title at the 14th attempt with a nail-biting 7-6 win over Phill Nixon in 2007 and went on to lift the trophy again in 2010 and 2011.
Adams believes mental toughness is the key to staying at the top.
He said: “I don’t look at anyone as being a threat.
“You need self belief. You need to think you are mentally stronger than they are.
“Let them do the worrying and thinking. I just play the board, not the player.
“It’s been said that darts is 70 per cent mental and the other 30 per cent is skill and experience.
“It’s about getting your head right. If your head is all over the place you’ve got no chance.”