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Abdulnasser Yusuf, 62, takes leg off world champion Michael Smith, it's wonderful sportsmanship

Jack Kenmare

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Abdulnasser Yusuf, 62, takes leg off world champion Michael Smith, it's wonderful sportsmanship

In one of the most heartwarming sporting moments of 2023 so far, world number one Michael Smith conceded a leg to 62-year-old local Abdulnasser Yusuf at the Bahrain Darts Masters.

Smith, who won his first World Championship last month after beating Michael van Gerwen in a pulsating final at the Ally Pally, picked up a resounding 6-1 win in Thursday night's opening round tie against Yusuf.

'Bully Boy' averaged just over 98 in the game, racing to a 5-0 lead in lightning quick time as he recorded a mightily impressive 131 checkout on double 20.

But his sheer delight for veteran Yusuf when he managed to grab a leg was by far the best moment of the match.

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As you can see in the footage above, Smith missed three match darts in what would have completed a 6-0 victory.

Then, fan-favourite Yusuf took to the oche, composed himself and eventually hit that all-important double 20 to send those inside the Bahrain International Circuit dome wild.

Replays soon showed world champion Smith urging the crowd to celebrate Yusuf's leg – a classy moment from the St Helens-born player.

"Michael Smith is the most likeable guy in the sport," one fan commented on the clip. "I absolutely love that man. There needs to be more people like him."

Michael Smith was delighted for the 62-year-old local. Image credit: Twitter/@OfficialPDC
Michael Smith was delighted for the 62-year-old local. Image credit: Twitter/@OfficialPDC

Many fans took to Twitter on Thursday night to suggest that Smith let his opponent win a leg in a 'great piece of sportsmanship'.

One said: "Great gesture from Bullyboy," while another commented: "Smith so obviously let him win that one."

A third wrote: "Amazing moment. This is what the World Series is all about. Yusef will never forget this."

A fourth praised Smith, saying: "Fair play to Michael for giving him that one."

This month's event is the PDC's first ever visit to Bahrain, with the top eight players in the world taking on each other alongside representation from Bahrain’s best talent.

Image credit: Alamy
Image credit: Alamy

Smith will no doubt be the man to beat this week. "I had goosebumps on my walk-on and I enjoyed it," he after his win against Yusuf. "It felt different hearing John McDonald introducing me as world champion and world number one.

"I was a bit nervous up there but I managed to find my feet. Dimitri will be up for it tomorrow but I just want to keep winning."

Thoughts on Smith's gesture on the oche?

Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@OfficialPDC

Topics: Darts

Jack Kenmare
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