A double ten to finish and he can raise his arms in disbelief as London’s Alexandra Palace and its 10,000 spectators capsize with happiness. The beer flows freely. Hundreds of spectators dance, sometimes shirtless on the tables to celebrate the feat of the child prodigy of the World Darts Championships. Luke Littler does not realize what has just happened to him. In a sport where experience and many years are essential to shine, especially in front of a crowd as dissipated and hot as is the case in London, the 16-year-old achieves feat after feat, carried by a disarming carefreeness.

At 16 years old, the Englishman eliminated Tuesday in the semi-final (6-2) a giant of “darts”, Rob Cross (33 years old), known as “Voltage”, world champion in 2018, 8th player in the world while his young opponent was in 164th place. He will face Luke Hemphries this Wednesday for the planetary coronation. Another challenge because his rival will be ranked world number 1 in a few days thanks to his qualification for the final.

This Wednesday, Luke Littler makes the headlines on all sports sites across the Channel. The British kingdom has fallen under the spell of the 16-year-old teenager (who is still a few years older), his little beard and his few extra kilos which squeeze him into his jersey in front of the target. Normal, he could become the youngest world champion in history ahead of Michael van Gerwen, aged 24 years and 9 months in 2014. Across the Channel, we are even starting to compare him to Emma Raducanu who created the feat in winning the 2021 US Open, at 18, when no one expected it. The young player became a real star in her country after her feat, unfortunately without a future.

Luke Littler is not there yet but his personality has also been melting the public since December 15 and the start of the competition. Reserved, even shy with his concise answers and an imperturbable face in press conferences, he seems to resist all the pressure on his shoulders. “I have to stay focused, be Luke Littler and relax. It’s incredible. I only set myself the goal of winning a match and coming back after Christmas and I’m still standing,” he explained to a crowd of journalists. Because darts, a tiny sport in France, is a real institution in England.

One step away from a triumph, Luke Littler will not change his habits before facing (at 9:15 p.m.) a big name in the discipline with, perhaps at the end of the match, a jackpot of 600,000 pounds which would change his life. “I’m going to continue doing what I’ve been doing. I don’t get up until noon, I go get my ham and cheese omelette, I come here and I get my pizza, then I go to the training board,” said the native of Runcorn, north-west. west of the country, visibly clinging to habits that work for him: “That’s what I do every day: as long as it doesn’t break, I won’t repair it.”