Dutch trans darts player sparks outrage after winning titles against women and men in the same week

25 March 2024, 14:42 | Updated: 25 March 2024, 14:48

Trans darts player claims women’s title days after winning men's event
Trans darts player claims women’s title days after winning men's event. Picture: Alamy

By Danielle De Wolfe

A Dutch transgender darts player has sparked outrage after winning the women's title just days after claiming victory against her male rivals.

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Noa-Lynn van Leuven, 27, has reportedly received a torrent of online abuse following the groundbreaking win at Saturday's event as part of the PDC Women’s Series in Wigan.

The victory came just eight days after she beat male rivals in a mixed event in Hildesheim, Germany.

Van Leuven joined the darts Women’s Series in 2022, a year after first transitioning.

Van Leuven beat English world number one Beau Greaves as part of the fiercely fought competition, claiming victory over Ireland's Katie Sheldon as part of her 5 - 2 victory in the final.

Two of van Leuven's female teammates have reportedly quit the Dutch national team in protest over her inclusion following the double victory.

The earlier German victory ensured van Leuven made history by becoming the first trans woman to win a PDC Tour event, a title that came with a £2,500 winnings pot.

The back-to-back wins also saw her come the first transgender darts player to win both a PDC women's event and mixed event.

Having previously spoken out about her transition, the star has said she's received a torrent of online abuse following the latest wins.

The Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) follows guidelines set out by the Darts Regulation Authority, in turn, following criteria set out by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

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Among the 10 key principles set out by the IOC, “no presumption of advantage” and “inclusion” remain the most prominent.

Sports are told to consider “disproportionate advantage" on an individual basis to avoid any such unfair advantages.

These rules have now been challenged following the win, with a group of 26 academics claiming “that the inclusion of transgender women in female sports categories cannot be reconciled with fairness”.

Noa-Lynn van Leuven, 27, claimed the women's title days after fighting her way to victory in the men's competition.
Noa-Lynn van Leuven, 27, claimed the women's title days after fighting her way to victory in the men's competition. Picture: Alamy

It follows previous comments from van Leuven, the world number six, who has previously said of the backlash: “It sucks, but I try not to let it get too much into my head. It is very hard. It has been tough for the last two years."

She believes the backlash to be an orchestrated attempt by her fellow players to get her banned from the sport, having previously faced angry remarks from other players, including England's Deta Hedman.

Following the wins, the Dutch athlete has faced a flurry of online abuse with the results dividing darts fans and commentators alike.

The news has even seen outspoken 18-time Grand Slam tennis champion, Martina Navratilova, weigh in on the debate.

Following the win, she said: “No male bodies in women’s sports please — not even in darts.”

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