Smith proves doubters wrong after eliminating Taylor in World Darts Championship

The second round of the World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace started with a massive shock as 16-time world champion Phil Taylor was eliminated by Michael Smith 4-3.

Smith, the current world youth champion, admits he was shocked by the result but says he gained motivation from the fact that he was completely written off beforehand.

“I was 14-1 just to win against Taylor before the game,” said the 23-year-old. “I was watching [Eric] Bristow’s bets predictions on Sky and he said Taylor would easily win 4-0.

“The rest of the commentators actually said that I would be lucky if I won a set at all. That is what fired me up and spurred me for the match. I wanted to prove them all wrong.”

After beating the favourite for the tournament, Smith is now confident he can go all the way himself and be the first player to hold the world youth title and world title at the same time.

“This is a life-changing result,” Smith added. “I’ve beaten the world’s best player - why can’t I put my name on that trophy? If I didn’t believe it then I wouldn’t have turned up for the first-round match.”

Two former winners of the world title, Raymond van Barneveld and Adrian Lewis, have both progressed along with 2010 runner-up Simon Whitlock and 2013 finalist Michael van Gerwen.