Zahn darts off to Aussie champs
DARTS:Zahn Hellmuth’s years of hard work and hours of practice each week all led up to last weekend’s Darts Queensland Junior Championship, where he placed second and qualified for the Queensland team.
The 16-year-old, who began playing darts when he was about nine, and his brother, Alan, 14, both qualified for the Zone 8 team – comprised of competitors from Gladstone, Rockhampton and Biloela – to compete at the state championship.
There were 23 competitors, aged 12-17, at the tournament, including six from Zone 8.
On day one, Zahn finished sixth with a 16.88 average per dart. He then competed in the top 10 for one of four spots in the Queensland side and finished second.
Zahn said that in the lead-up to the state championship, he spent about six hours a day, three days a week practising.
He said finishing second overall felt “amazing” and considered it his greatest success in the sport thus far.
“(I’ve worked) my whole life really,” he said.
Zahn said he enjoyed being part of the darts community and playing the game.
“They treat you like family and you treat them like family,” he said.
Alan finished on a 15.26 average, placing 12th. He then won the restricted singles event on the final day.
“I hope to keep the sport up and keep playing and practising when I can,” Alan said.
Gladstone and District Darts Association promotions officer Ian Hankinson was impressed with the efforts of both Zahn and Alan.
“For Zahn to make (the state team) and come in number two in the state is a real great achievement and just testament to the dedication of this young man,” he said.
Zahn will head with the Queensland team to Perth for the Australian junior championships in January.
“I haven’t been keener for anything else,” Zahn said.