CHENNAI: Fourteen years ago Nitin Kumar was an average teen playing around with a cheap set of magnetic darts. Little did he know that one day he would be in the running for champion of the world in the sport. “It was an addiction for me right from the get-go,” says the youngster.
And although Nitin hails from Chennai, he now lives in Dubai and works in the marketing division of Nike. “So as you can imagine there’s been an awful lot of travel to keep coming back for tournaments to pursue darts,” he tells us. But clearly, all the effort has paid off. After being shortlisted at the Indian Open held in February earlier this year, Nitin and top ranking Amit Gilitwala from Gujarat will represent India in the World Cup of Darts held between June 6 and 8, at Hamburg this year. Oh, and get this, if they win — the boys will take home a whopping £200,000 in prize money.
Founder and secretary of the Tamil Nadu Darts Association, Venu Pillai who is managing the team has sent the players under the banner of his company, Team Darts Corp India. And Nitin sounds a tad nervous as he reveals they will be playing against Belgium in round one.
If all this isn’t exciting enough, it turns out the annual championship has been expanded from an existing 24 nations in the competition to 32. As team India gears up to go up against all the big guns in the global darts arena, we ask Nitin for some quick tips that will help an aspiring first time player. “It’s difficult here, India has only entered the darts scene about 15 years ago,” he admits. “But with practice and plenty of concentration, darts can help not just your aim but also your mathematics,” he smiles.