BENDIGO’S Justin Thompson hopes his dual wins at last weekend’s Van Diemen’s Classic can push him closer to the top of the World Darts Federation rankings.
Thompson entered the tournament in Tasmania ranked 10th in the WDF.
But following wins in the singles and doubles events, Thompson was hopeful of gaining enough points to push his way as high as sixth.
The 48-year-old defeated Tasmanian Stan Hall to win the singles title and later teamed with another home state player in Ashley Cadby to claim the doubles championship.
Thompson also achieved the best peg-out of the tournament – a maximum 170.
The dual wins find Thompson in red-hot form ahead of this month’s trip to England for the British Open and British Classic.
The following month he will represent Australian at the Darts World Cup in Japan.
It will be his first trip to Asia since winning singles, doubles, teams and overall gold at the 2016 Asia-Pacific Cup in Japan.
Only two other players in the tournament’s history have won four gold medals at the one event.
Thompson credited his most recent success to hard work and sheer determination.
“Everywhere you go there are good players, you can be beaten at any time,” he said.
“As long as you try and keep focused on what you know you can do, hopefully it turns out for the better.
“It’s like everything, even at the peak of his game, you didn’t see Tiger Woods walk out and win every week.
“At the end of the day, I just have to keep playing to the best of my ability at any given time and hopefully it works out.”
Thompson, who recently won the Australian Open singles and mixed doubles crowns for the second straight year, is the nation’s highest ranked WDF player and one of two Australians in the top-20.
Western Australian Adam Rowe is currently ranked 19th.
Last month, Thompson played in the invite-only Melbourne Masters – a leg of the 2017 World Series of Darts.
Thompson lost his opening round match against professional Gary Anderson, from Scotland, 2-6.
The tournament was eventually won by 16-time world champion Phil ‘The Power’.
Thompson will return to England early next year to play for the first time in the Lakeside World Embassy.
The Bendigo Darts Association life member, who these days lives primarily at Beverford, near Swan Hill, said he was grateful for the support of the Murray Downs Golf and Country Club for helping him with travel and other costs.