2023 European Championship: Peter Wright Bites Back In Dortmund With Victory

Published on 30 October 2023 at 19:55

Peter Wright made a triumphant return to Dortmund, Germany this past weekend, winning his second European Championship title with some of the best performances we’ve seen from ‘Snakebite’ since he won the World Championship in January 2022, following his wins over Gabriel Clemens, Michael Smith, Chris Dobey, Danny Noppert and James Wade en-route to victory.


After what’s been a difficult and highly inconsistent year for the former World No.1, including a third round exit of the World Championship by Kim Huybrechts and only winning the Nordic Darts Masters so far this darting season, Wright’s performances in Germany couldn’t have come at a better time for him as looks to build up momentum for the Alexandra Palace.


Almost opening up his campaign with defeat, Wright was paired up against the beloved Gabriel Clemens and was trailing 4-1 before a monumental fightback saw the Scotsman prevail over the German giant 6-5, much to the heartbreak of the partisan crowd in the Westfalenhallen, though this would be the last time the crowd wasn't behind the former event winner.


Wright then met reigning World Champ Michael Smith in the last 16, cruising to victory 10-4 as ‘Bully Boy’ barely got going. Sunday’s afternoon session saw Wright survive yet another almighty scare against Chris Dobey, who rallied back to take an 8-7 lead in their quarterfinal, before Wright persevered to win 10-8 and send ‘Hollywood’ home. Wright’s early consecutive checkouts of 161 and 164 against Dobey arguably being the finest darts thrown all tournament.


Awaiting in the semi-finals was Danny Noppert, who having earlier created a classic comeback against Gerwyn Price, looked to repeat the feat against Wright. But 'Snakebite' made sure that 'The Freeze' was on the wrong side of an otherwise 50/50 affair, progressing to his first major final in nearly two years after a 11-8 victory.


Sunday night’s final was a decidedly less even affair, as James ‘The Machine’ Wade never truly got out of first gear, with Wright’s big scoring once again being too much for his opponent. In a direct rematch of the 2020 final, which Wright also won, the Scotsman rounded out a stunning weekend of performances with an 11-6 victory, become just the fourth man to win multiple European Championship titles, after Phil Taylor, Michael Van Gerwen and Rob Cross.

Read More: After His Own Disastrous Darting Season, Can Michael Smith Turn This Year Around?


Wright will now be hoping to end the ‘curse’ affecting recent winners of the European championship: with Ross Smith’s first round loss to Pietreczko, the defending champion has crashed out of the first round in the last 5 editions of the competition.


If history has told us anything about Wright himself, is that he knows how to properly bounce back from an early exit one year to the next in the World Championship. Regaining his status as the World no.2 seed, and winning one of the final televised majors available before December at the Alexandra Palace, Wright must surely now be considered one of the favourites to hoist the Sid Waddell trophy once again: something completely beyond belief even three months ago.


By Jaspar Shepherdson

(@jasparshepmedia on Instagram and X/Twitter) 


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