Luke Littler hit with 'unfair' comment by darts rival after winning return at Bahrain Masters

Luke Littler hit with 'unfair' comment by darts rival after winning return at Bahrain Masters

WATCH NOW: Luke Humphries speaks after his World Darts Championship win

Lewis Winter

By Lewis Winter

Published: 19/01/2024

- 12:09

The youngster won the hearts of the nation despite losing the final

Michael van Gerwen claims the media furore around Luke Littler at the World Darts Championship was 'unfair' on Luke Humphries.

The 16-year-old grabbed most of the headlines at Alexandra Palace despite Humphries winning the Sid Waddell Trophy for the first time.

Littler has become a household name following his record-breaking performance at his debut tournament.

He became the youngest player to ever win a match in the competition in the first round.

Luke Littler

Michael van Gerwen says the media attention on Luke Littler was unfair on Luke Humphries


But he upset all the odds by brushing aside the likes of former champions Raymond van Barneveld and Rob Cross on his way to the final.

Littler led 4-2 and missed a double to stretch his lead to three sets.

Humphries made him pay and won five sets on the bounce to claim his maiden title with a 7-4 win.

The 28-year-old finished 2023 in sensational form, having won the World Grand Prix, Grand Slam of Darts and Players Championship in quick succession.

He started 2024 in perfect fashion against Littler, having only just been confirmed as the new world No 1.

And Van Gerwen believes Humphries should have got more attention from his victory.

The Dutchman told talkSPORT: "He [Littler] has to deal with it [media attention] but people forget what kind of tournament Luke Humphries had – it’s a little bit unfair to the guy.

"I know Luke Littler had a fantastic tournament but it has taken away the glory of Luke Humphries a little bit, I think.

"Yeah 100 per cent [Humphries was the favourite]. Everything's been going his way, he's played some fantastic darts, he showed his class as well.

"I think it was a great final for everyone to watch, I think it was a great tournament.

"Of course with the wrong winner, because it should be me!"

Van Gerwen, Humphries and Littler are all currently competing in the Bahrain Masters.

They cruised through to the second round on Thursday, with Van Gerwen and Humphries both winning their ties 6-0.

Littler lost the first two legs against Man Lok Leung before coming back to win 6-3.


Luke Humphries

Luke Humphries won the World Darts Championship for the first time


The trio will also be a part of the Premier League, which starts on February 1.

It will run for 17 consecutive Thursdays until the final at London's O2 Arena on May 23.

Van Gerwen has won the tournament a record seven times since its formation in 2005.

He is looking forward to getting back on the road for the weekly event next month.

Michael van Gerwen

Michael van Gerwen believes Luke Humphries deserved more attention


The 34-year-old said: "You compete at the biggest level week after week, game after game - it’s quite tough to be fair.

"As soon as they changed the format to a tournament, it got harder for everyone because you have to perform three times against top players.

"But it’s good for everyone because you’re on telly week after week."

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