Can’t wait to get back on that stage again.
Ally Pally has been amazing for me.
An incredible experience and I’m not done yet.
Looking forward to being back up there doing what I love.
— Fallon Sherrock (@Fsherrock) December 27, 2019
It has been a good year overall for women’s sports. The 2019 football World Cup in France was a huge success and brought the game to a whole new audience. It also made global stars out of players such as Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the year Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan of the US national team, and also Ellen White and Lucy Bronze of England.
The football World Cup also opened the door to a new wave of female pundits such as Eniola Aluko and Alex Scott who are now regulars on UK TV and reopened the much-needed debate about the imbalance in pay between men and women at the elite level.
More firsts in 2019
Also making history in 2019 was Mikaela Shiffrin who became the first skier to win 17 World Cup races in a season. The American broke the record by winning gold in the Slalom event at the 2019 World Championships in Andorra. She also became the first skier to win the World title in four separate events in one season and the first to bag 41 World Cup Slalom wins, breaking Ingemar Stenmark’s 30-year record.
Meanwhile, Bryony Frost became the first female jockey to win a Grade One race over fences at the Cheltenham Festival. And 12-time women’s snooker world champion Reanne Evans made her debut at the Champion of Champions in Coventry where she earned the biggest payday of her career despite losing to Shaun Murphy in the first round.
No female jockey has ever won the Grand National.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) April 13, 2018
Sherrock on target
The year ended with another watershed moment when darts professional Fallon Sherrock made it to the third round of PDC World Championship where she was defeated 4-2 by 22nd-ranked Chris Dobey. The 25-year-old became the first woman to win any game in the tournament when she beat Ted Evetts in round one and followed that up with a second-round victory over World No. 11 Mensur Suljovic.
In the same week, Hungarian Daniela Bata-Bogdanov became the first female to work as a stage official in the tournament’s history.
Just a couple of days before Sherrock made history, Japanese player Mikuru Suzuki came agonisingly close to achieving the same feat but was beaten 3-2 by James Richardson. The 37-year-old Japanese player is the reigning women’s world champion. Sherrock is now 7/4 favourite in the darts betting to win the BDO Women’s World Championships which get underway in January ahead of Suzuki who is priced at 7/4.
Congratulations to @Fsherrock, who has just defeated the World No. 11 player to advance to the 3rd round of the #WorldDartsChampionship! Earlier this week, she became the 1st woman in history to win a match in the championship! #Gamechanger https://t.co/qsbrt6VxWT
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) December 21, 2019
Sherrock’s achievement was recognised by none other than 12-time Grand Slam tennis singles champion Billie Jean King. The 76-year-old has long been a champion of gender equality and tweeted congratulations to the Milton Keynes-based darts player to over half a million followers on Twitter.
After such a scintillating 2019, fans can hope for more of the same in 2020 as women in sport continue to smash glass ceilings and rewrite history