Wimbledon was Boris Becker’s living room. Now another German athlete has his living room in London. The German HEMPELMANN defeats “Ally Pally”.
Florian Hempel (31) is our arrow sensation. Belgian national Dimitri van den Berg (27), ranked 5th in the world, is out of the World Cup.
Hempel is in the third round as a blatant outsider and has already taken home €29,000 in prize money. He meets Raymond Smith (42/Australia) on December 27.
Humble to Bild: “Nobody believes me. I can only repeat it. I don’t believe it myself yet.”
Hempel’s rise sounds like a fairy tale.
Hempel wants to become a professional handball player. The 1.96-meter giant in the Dessau-Roßlauer HV goal (used in the second division).
“The hand-eye coordination that I learned while playing handball definitely helped me,” he says.
Does body size help?
Darts expert Elmar Paulke, 51, told BILD, “That’s not an advantage. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter because distance isn’t the issue and so it’s not a few centimeters round trip with a longer arm. It’s important that you adjust your distance to the board when Throwing. See Phil Taylor, he wasn’t that tall either (1.73m; ed.)”.
In 2014, Hempel, born in Dessau, moved to Cologne – and the darts story began four years earlier in his communal apartment.
Hempel says he meets regularly with friends on Saturdays, before they celebrate throwing a few darts at “something worth eight euros from Lidl or Aldi”.
When he has a week off, he stands on the board several hours longer.
At some point the stock breaks. Hempel visits a darts shop and is told about a tournament in Cologne (entrance fee of five euros). “I won all the matches. Everyone asked me, “How long have you been playing?” Then: “Since Monday…”
^ Today (9pm) Gabriel Clemens (38), Germany’s No. 1, plays Louis Williams (19/Wales).
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