(Pictures: Hattaya Kanjanarungsima FB)
Thai darts has been represented in the PDC World Cup from 2014-2018, but since 2019 the country has not been selected for the tournament anymore. That doesn’t mean that Thai darts is having a complete meltdown, on the contrary: A new organisation has seen light in 2018: The Darts Association of Thailand, with Winmau sponsoring the DAT for three years and Thailand becoming a full WDF member since January 2019. Especially female darts is on the rise, so I asked one of the best female Thai players, Hattaya Kanjanarungsima, a couple of questions about her career and ladies darts in Thailand.
Name: Hattaya Kanjanarungsima
Major sponsor: L-Style
WDF Ranking (time of writing): 48
When and why did you start playing darts?
I started playing darts actively in 2012. Darts is an attractive sport because I can touch many emotions whenever I am on game!
How much do you practice?
I practice 4-8 hours a day.
Kanjanarungsima won the Taranaki International Darts Open in 2019, beating Tina Osborne 5-3 in the final. She describes her time during the tournament as a great one, which made her want to practice even more and more.
How did you feel playing the final against Tina Osborne?
On the oche, I did not know her before. I followed the game and tried to do my best. After the game, I just knew she was a top player!! I think I was so lucky at the time.
How is it to play darts in Thailand?
Darts in Thailand now, I think it is growing. We now joined the WDF again, so we get a chance to collect ranking points for the world stage.
Are there many opportunities for ladies players/ladies darts in Thailand?
In Thailand, there are currently many ladies players who are improving a lot, so yes.
What is your best achievement in darts?
International Champion in Taranaki, after that Champion in Malaysia.
What was the favorite place you went for darts and why?
I enjoy many places that hold darts event…..actually I like everywhere that has darts.
What are your goals for the future?
In the future, I hope to go to a world tournament one time in my life.
Who is your inspiration in darts?
One ladies player that inspires me is Japanese player Mikuru Suzuki. She now is the first Asian player to become a World Champion. However, my family is very important for supporting me.
Who are, besides yourself, two ladies players from Thailand we have to look out for in the future?
In my opinion, Thai ladies players who have a good performance, skill and positive thinking for darts are Ornong Boonyanit and Kim Lebbing (14 year old youth player who won a Singha Ladies Tour in 2020 and was runner-up at the 2019 Japan Open Youth).
Do you have a message for the readers?
For all followers or someone who is interested in darts: Come on to join and you will love darts just like me. Darts is not a battle or fighting game. This sport is a meditation and mentality game, fighting with yourself. Last but not least, ‘Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way’. I hope you will enjoy Darts.