Worldsport

Flying arrows

Published 6:03 AM ET, Fri January 3, 2014
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Peter Wright, who finished as runner-up in the PDC World Championship, is one of the sport's more colorful characters. The glitzy shirts and outrageous mohawk hairstyle means there's no chance of him being missed on stage. Ben Hoskins/Getty Images
Darts players enter the arena to a chorus of noise with their own signature tune playing over the PA system. Accompanied by darts-style cheerleaders, they play to the crowd before making their way up to the Oche -- the line from where they throw the darts from. Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images
Darts players such as world champion Michael van Gerwen are celebrities in their own right with the sport's global appeal growing. The tournament was broadcast from London to Australia, New Zealand, Europe and across the Middle East. Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images
The Darts Dancers provide entertainment for the crowd and accompany the players on the long walk to the stage. They're an integral part of the tournament's atmosphere. Ben Hoskins/Getty Images
Each player starts with a score of 501 and the first to reach zero wins. After a player throws three darts, the total is subtracted from the total until it reaches zero. In order to reach zero, the player must finish by throwing a double -- if they need 36, they must throw a double 18 while if a player requires 45, they must hit a five and a double 20. Some matches are played over the best of a number of sets, where each competitor must win a number of legs to win a set. Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images
With around 2,500 packed inside Alexandra Palace in north London, the beer outlets do a roaring trade. While a few may over indulge, the atmosphere remains good humored. Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images
Phil 'The Power' Taylor is the most successful darts player of modern times. He has won the World Championship 15 times and is the most recognizable player on the circuit. Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images
Australia's Simon Whitlock has won plenty of admirers -- and not just for his darts. Nicknamed 'The Wizard,' he won the European Championship in 2012. Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
Singing, chanting and fancy dress -- it's all part of the experience at the darts. Crowds have increased year on year and have become more boisterous. Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images
Van Gerwen defeated Wright 7-4 to win the this year's World Championship. The Dutchman, who was beaten in the 2013 final, claimed the top prize of $412,000. Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images