HARTLEPOOL could be set for only its fourth sporting world champion within the next few years.
That is if town darts ace Paul Jennings can achieve his aim of lifting the BDO Worlds Darts Championship – a target he calls realistic.
Jennings has achieved two consecutive quarter-final results at the worlds and is desperate to follow in the success of boxers Steve Conway, Michael Hunter and Savannah Marshall who all have world championship titles to their name.
Headlander Jenno is aware of the difficulties in accomplishing his goal but insists that he remains on track to achieve his dream.
He said: “I started out (on the BDO circuit) two years ago and had a five-year aim then. In that time I’ve had two quarter-final results.
“I’d say I’m on course to win the worlds, I said five years and my first two years have been pretty good so there’s now a three-year aim.
“I had a good chance in the first year but unfortunately things didn’t go my way.
“Against Scott Waites (in the quarters) this year I didn’t play as well as I could.
“If I could pick and choose my games and play how I did in the first two rounds against Scott I could have won worlds this year.”
When Jennings first stood on the oche at Lakeside in early 2012 with five major wins under his belt, his lofty ambitions did not seem a fanciful dream to the scaffolder by trade.
But his wife and his most trusted supporter, Andrea, did cast her own doubts – until she witnessed her
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husband’s clinical finishing.
“My wife didn’t realise how good I was until Lakeside last year,” he admitted to SportMail.
“She was watching me taking out big hits and thought ‘yeah, he can win this’.
“She believes, my family believe and I believe.”
Jenno was crowned the Polish Open champion a fortnight ago and his performance on the Continent can have positive ramifications in his world championship quest, as he explained.
“In Poland I was playing from 9.30am to 01.30am the next day – I was shattered and yet my game was steady all day.
“After the weekend in Poland I proved that I’ve got the endurance to play all day and you need stamina to win the worlds.”
In the long term the transition from the BDO side of the game to the PDC remains a possibility, although throwing arrows against the likes of Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen et al is not concentrating Jennings’ aspirations just yet.
“At the moment it’s not in my mind,” he said in response to being asked if he wanted to make the switch.
“I just want to enjoy my darts – which I am, to play well and to be consistent, then we will take it from there.
“Before I do it (join the PDC) I will have had to had won the BDO World Championships.”