Turkey target in sight for Tiarna Smith
TIARNA Smith didn't claim any titles at the Queensland under 18 darts championships, held on home turf at Riverview last week.
But any disappointment was surpassed by the joy and relief she got from being picked as one of two Australian girls to contest the World Cup at Turkey in October.
In the two singles events she contested, the National title and World Darts Federation Youth Singles she was knocked out at the semi-finals, both times by eventual winner Tori Kewish, from Victoria.
But Kewish will be too old to contest the world under 18 titles, so Smith will join Angela Clark in Turkey.
"Thank God she's too old," Smith said.
"I was scared I wasn't going to make it.
"But she will be over 18 by the time the World Cup's on."
Losing out to Kewish didn't disappoint Smith too much, because of the satisfaction that came from playing at or near her best.
It is something she has been striving for what seems like a long time now.
"I was alright and played good, and she played awesome," Smith said.
Smith had to wait until the presentation ceremony on the final day of the titles to find out if she could book her ticket to Turkey.
To say she was relieved when her name was called out is an understatement.
"I nearly cried," Smith said.
It will be Smith's second World Cup after she shocked everyone by finishing second at the 2013 event when only 14.
Older and wiser the Ipswich teen is already preparing her year ahead to be in the best shape possible.
Between now and then Smith will warm up with the Queensland selection trials and West Coast Classic later in the year.
There are also the regular club nights at the West Moreton Darts Hall and she intends to practice at home for two hours a day.
And if she tries to slack off there is someone there to crack the whip, in the form of boyfriend Matt Dorotich.
Dorotich has assumed the role of trainer for Smith and she credits him with overcoming a case of "dartitis" that afflicted her after the previous World Cup.
Then, expectations became too much and the pressure Smith put herself under to perform prevented her hitting the targets.
The national titles were the big test to see if she had overcome the problem and now she has proved she has, Smith is looking ahead to Turkey with optimism.
"It should be easier than last time because I know what it's all about," Smith said.
"I'll just try and play as many tournaments as I can before then."