REVEALED: Luke Littler’s new world ranking after his painful World Darts Championship final loss to Luke Humphries… after the 16-year-old missed out on triumph that would have moved him up to NINTH

The 16-year-old sensation was the story of the tournament as he stunned fans with his dominant displays to charge into the final – but suffered heartache in his bid to become the youngest ever champion. 

 

 

Littler had still enjoyed an impressive showing early on in the exciting contest as he led 4-2 at one stage, but Humphries proved too much as he powered through to win five straight sets and claim a 7-4 victory to crush the teenager’s dream. 

 

 

But now Littler’s journey has come to an end, he has been given a new ranking – with the painful knowledge he could have been ranked ninth in the world if he had claimed a famous victory at Ally Pally. 

 

 

Instead, Littler has been ranked at 31st to cap off an agonising night as he was forced to watch his rival lift the trophy. 

 

Top of the rankings is champion Humphries, followed by Michael van Gerwen, last year’s winner Michael Smith, Nathan Aspinall and Gerwyn Price rounding off the top five. 

 

Littler will still take pride in his magnificent run to the final after shooting to stardom and captivating the nation with his valiant displays – and he was left satisfied with his tournament debut, on top of his new ranking.

 

‘It’s been unbelievable,’ he told Sky Sports after the final. 

 

‘I’m happy. I’m in the top-32 [in the world ranking] and I finished runner-up in my debut [at the PDC World Championship]. It’s unbelievable.’ 

 

 

Asked what he wanted to achieve when he returns to the Ally Pally next year, he replied: ‘Win a game and see what happens after.

 

 

‘I may not get to another final for five or 10 years, we don’t know, but I can say I’m a runner-up. Now I wanna go and win it.’

 

Despite being three sets away from winning a world title at the age of 16, Littler insisted he was not entirely pleased with his performance in the final.

 

‘The one negative was that I lost too many legs on my throw and allowed Luke to break me,’ he said.

 

‘I just couldn’t hold my own throw and I didn’t win. That’s the only negative.

 

 

‘Every game has been good but that one has just really annoyed me, especially the three missed to keep it going. That’s what the crowd wanted but fair play to Luke, he deserves it.’

 

And Humphries backed the teenager to ‘dominate’ the world of darts for the foreseeable future after his exhilarating run to the final.

 

‘In the back of my mind throughout today I was thinking “Get this one now because he [Littler] is going to dominate world darts soon!”,’ the newly-crowned world champion said.

 

‘He’s an incredible player and when I was on the brink of winning he was so relentless. I was really proud of the performance there.

 

‘He’s an incredible talent and I had to win this one tonight and he’s going to win plenty I’m sure.’

 

 

Gideon Canice

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