Matija Gazibara (16) started playing soft-tip darts in his local cafe in the Croatian town of Gornji Stenjevac (Zagreb County) when he was 15, one year on his friends rallied around to collect enough cash to send him to the European Championships in Turkey, and he has just come back with the gold medal, reports 24sata.
“I read somewhere that the European Championships were in Antalya, but I didn’t have the money for the trip.” says high school student Matija.
Friends from his local cafe managed to raise the 10,000 kuna (1,325 euros) required to get Matija to the Championships. “It was my first trip in my life. I didn’t even look out the window. When I arrived in Turkey everyone thought I was some young easy-beat and wanted to play against me,” says Gazibara, who didn’t lose a set, let alone a match at the championship, a feat nobody had achieved before him.
After the European Championships, Matija won a tournament in France, beating multiple European and World Champion Boris Krcmar.
Next year Matija is eyeing up the World Championships in China, but says that might finances might put an end to that dream. “I’ll need 15-20,000 kuna (cca 2,500 euros), I really don’t have that,” concludes Matija.