On target

DAVOREN Park darts champ Fiona Gottwald is on target for success, after being selected to take on the best dart players in the world later this year.

The 15-year-old Mark Oliphant College student has been chosen to represent the country at the October World Cup Championships in Japan, following her successful performance at the Australian Championships in Geelong earlier this year.

Miss Gottwald, who finished number one in the Australian dart rankings last year, said she was keen to compete at a national level, despite suffering a recent shoulder injury.

“I’m nervous, but very excited, too,” she said.

“The competition is pretty tough, by the looks of it.

“I’d like to take out the singles, doubles and mixed doubles.

“(However), I’m suffering from bursitis – inflamed tendons – in my right shoulder, so I’m currently going to the physio.”

Carrying on the family tradition, Miss Gottwald first picked up a dart around four years ago, before competing against her sister, Jenna, in tournaments across the state.

“It runs in the family; both mum and dad play the sport, and my sister played it at a state level,” she said.

“I’m very competitive against my sister (Jenna) and I try to always play against her.”

Along with working part time and studying, Miss Gottwald trains three nights a week and competes in monthly tournaments.

“It’s extremely stressful to stay on top of my school work,” she said.

“I try to get ahead of everyone else, so I don’t have to catch up.”

In the lead-up to the overseas championship, Miss Gottwald will train with number-one senior dart player Peter Machin.

“I love meeting new people and socialising while playing darts,” she said.

Her mother, Helen Litton, said she was “proud” of what her daughter had achieved in the sport that binds the family together.

“It was a huge surprise that she got picked for Japan,” she said.

“For now, we are just focusing on each match and trying to keep her as levelheaded as possible, and not push it too much.”

Laura Tilley

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Laura Tilley joined The Bunyip team after completing her Bachelor of Journalism at the University of South Australia and working at sister newspaper The Murray Pioneer, Renmark, recently. Laura undertook a student exchange to the UK, where she studied journalism courses at the University of Worcester. She completed several stints across different media outlets where she found her passion for journalism.

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