09 January 2020

Lorraine Winstanley labels new changes to BDO World Darts Championships 'weird and strange'

Lorraine Winstanley described playing at the BDO World Darts Championship as 'weird and strange' following her victory against Casey Gallagher on Wednesday.

The Buxton-born player eased into the quarter-finals with a 2-0 win over her 23-year-old opponent and will now face world number one Lisa Ashton in the last eight.

But the tournament organisers have come under scrutiny after prize funds were slashed shortly before the start of the competition and crowd numbers have been poor.

Speaking about the changes, Winstanley said: “It felt weird. I’m not going to lie, it felt strange. Obviously, big changes for us – new venue, and things like that.

“Coming into the tournament, we’d had a lot of uncertainty. A couple of days before New Years, to find out that the prize fund had been slashed, it’s hard. It’s not my job, but for other players, it is their job."

Winstanley, who was beaten in last year's final by Mikuru Suzuki, hopes to go one step further this time around.

Yet while the glory of becoming world champion is something the 44-year-old strives for, the financial reward is also a motivating factor.

“I’m here for the title because, for years, it’s been my ambition to be world champion," Winstanley added. "But along with the title comes the pennies.

“When you don’t know what you’re playing for, it makes it very difficult. You’ve always got that in the back of your mind. It doesn’t fill you with enthusiasm, coming into the tournament! But at the end of the day, we’re still here for the title.”

Winstanley will head into her clash against world number one Ashton as the underdog, a position she will look to relish despite the unnerving conditions the players are being subjected to.

She said: “I’m hoping it’s going to be a good game. Obviously I’ve got to put some work in!

“But it just felt strange on the stage. I don’t doubt my ability in any way, shape or form. It just felt different, so hopefully having got through that round, that can be wiped away."

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