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Luke Littler on 'breaking records like Michael van Gerwen' after World Darts Championship win over Andrew Gilding

One of the biggest stories from the Alexandra Palace so far has been 16-year-old Luke Littler; the World Darts Championship runs all the way until the final on January 3 - we're back on Friday at 12.30pm, live on Sky Sports Darts

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Teenager Luke Littler defeats Andrew Gilding 3-1 to reach the third round of the World Darts Championship

Luke Littler was flattered to hear people are comparing him to Michael van Gerwen after he booked a place in the third round of the World Darts Championship.

Littler held off a mid-match charge from the experienced Andrew Gilding to knock out the 20th seed with a 3-1 win on Thursday night.

The 16-year-old won his first match at the Alexandra Palace on Wednesday and his natural throwing style has got the darting world talking.

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Luke Littler says his experience at the World Championship has been unbelievable and addresses his new chant at Alexandra Palace.

Littler told Sky Sports News, following his latest win, that he believes he can go all the way and reach the final on January 3.

"If my A-game is there throughout the tournament, then I don't see why not," he said. "I know I've got a good chance.

"I just wanted to win my first-round game and then as soon as I got back to my hotel, I said to my Dad, 'let's make sure we come back after Christmas'.

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"Now I've overachieved and hopefully I can beat Matt [Campbell] and overachieve again."

Ahead of the World Championship, Littler became the first two-time Junior Darts Corporation world champion and is already being compared to the sport's greatest ever players including Phil Taylor and Van Gerwen.

Sky Sports Darts' Wayne Mardle says Littler is "probably the most naturally gifted player I have ever seen in my life".

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Littler plans to celebrate his sensational win over Andrew Gilding with another kebab!

"People do compare me to Michael and see what he's done and I've done. We've both done a lot at 16 years of age," said Littler.

"I'm breaking records and it's good to know people are talking about me and comparing me to my idols."

Littler averaged 106.12 on his World Championship debut as he beat Christian Kist 3-0 and will play Matt Campbell in the next round after the Canadian stunned James Wade.

All you need to know about Luke Littler...

Littler was born in Runcorn, Cheshire, on January 21, 2007 and began playing darts aged nine.

He won the England Youth Grand Prix in 2019 and began to rack up tournament wins.

He became England Youth Open champion in 2021 and won his first senior title at the Irish Open later that year.

In 2022 he won the Welsh Open and this year notched further senior titles at the Isle of Man Classic, Gibraltar Open, British Open and British Classic.

The 16-year-old is a back-to-back JDC World Champion and reigning World Youth Champion. He doesn't turn 17 until January 21.

The winner of that match could play Raymond van Barneveld, who gets his campaign under way on Friday night live on Sky Sports Darts, in the last 16.

"I'm glad I'm coming back after Christmas. As soon as he beat Wade, my eyes lit up but I knew I had to get past Christian then Andrew and I'm coming back to face Matt. I'll take it game by game and just play who's up against me.

"Matt beat Wade, a multiple major winner, and what he's done so far is good for Canadian darts but it's me or him now."

Littler on 'unbelievable' crowd chanting

Littler first picked up a set of darts at 18 months old and had the Alexandra Palace crowd singing "you're going to school in the morning" during both of his wins.

They also sang "there's only one Luke Littler", a chant which Phil Taylor was associated with during his career.

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Littler celebrated wildly after taking a two-set lead against Andrew Gilding in the World Darts Championship

"It was unbelievable, especially when you are going for a double. Throughout the game they were chanting for me and chanting over different chants. You've just got to somehow get in the zone when they are all chanting," said Littler.

He added: "I follow my own Instagram and have gone from 4,000 to 11,000 followers. I've had loads of rugby lads, local ones and other teams, follow me and footballers from Ipswich and United U20s. It's just unbelievable that so many people know about me."

Part: Littler can handle different situations

Three-time world champion John Part on Littler's performance against Gilding:

"We learnt he can handle different sorts of situations. I think he did well.

"Andrew was the better average early going, but somehow he managed to steal set one, set two of course.

"Set four saw Luke behind at times but Andrew couldn't get the darts needed to force a tie breaker."

Watch the World Darts Championship all the way until the final on January 3, 2024 - live on Sky Sports Darts. NOW Sports Month Membership: £21 a month for 6 months

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