Anastasia Dobromyslova believes that her experience at big events will be an advantage when she takes to the stage at Alexandra Palace for the first round of the World Darts Championship.
The tournament has been expanded from a field of 72 to 96 and that includes spots for two female qualifiers, Russia’s Dobromyslova and England’s Lisa Ashton.
The 34-year-old is a three time Women’s BDO champion and has previously been on the PDC tour, appearing at the 2009 World Championship and famously beating Vincent van der Voort in a televised Grand Slam game.
The Cheshire-based thrower is back at Ally Pally after coming through an 82-player field to win the Rest of the World qualifier.
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She will face England’s Ryan Joyce, currently ranked 78 on the PDC order of merit.
Dobromyslova said: "That’s what we are hoping for [that our experience counts], and especially [that] a man doesn’t want to get beaten by a woman so hopefully extra pressure whoever we draw and then happy days."
Addressing concerns that the addition of two female players could be seen as a publicity stunt by PDC chairman Barry Hearn, the Russian said: "It doesn’t concern me at all because I’ve done what I had to do to qualify.
"With a bit of luck we can have better things coming out of it. Barry [said] that he’s not interested in putting [together] a ladies tour but you never know.
"A few years ago he said that there’s not a chance that there’s going to be a lady in a World Championship but look at us now."
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Ireland will have six competitors at the event, which starts next Thursday and runs until 1 January.
The highest ranked of the six is Derry’s Daryl Gurney and the world number five, winner of the Players Championships Finals two weeks ago told RTÉ Sport: "I think it’s great for the game. We’ve got the men’s side, the youths side and now the ladies.
"They deserve the opportunity as much as the rest of them if they are as dedicated as the rest of us.
"They are going to put on a good show, they are two great players.
"Lisa could make it through a few rounds. I haven’t seen Anastasia throwing in a while but she had to be playing well to win her qualifiers.
"They are going to create a few shocks."
Dobromyslova's game is scheduled for Monday 17 December, while Ashton faces Jan Dekker on opening night next Thursday.
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