James Wade has issued an apology for his behaviour during his controversial second-round victory over Seigo Asada at the William Hill World Darts Championship on Wednesday evening.
‘The Machine’ fought back from 2-1 down to defeat the Japanese World Cup star in an enthralling five-set tussle, but he was seen to celebrate directly in the face of Asada after winning the second set. The nine-time major winner then released a further outpouring of emotion after sealing his spot in the third-round.
In his post-match interview with Sky Sports’ Rod Studd, Wade claimed: “I did it for my son and my country. It’s a magnificent feeling, I could easily have lost that and I dug in for my son and my country, so it’s good.
“I didn’t think he had that game in him, I really didn’t. Perhaps if I felt he had that game in him, I probably would have prepared a little bit differently. How I won that game I don’t know, but it’s about time because I’ve lost so many games here that I shouldn’t have lost.
“I kept giving it to him. I wanted to hurt him, I wanted to really hurt him in his face. It wasn’t a great game but I wanted to hurt him and I wanted to progress. That was for my son and also for a bit of the UK,” Wade added.
Sky Sports pundits Wayne Mardle and Mark Webster were left stunned by Wade’s reaction, with Mardle claiming: “Does he mean he wanted to punch him in his face? What does he mean? I’m absolutely lost for words, that’s just not on.”
Wade has been very open about his ongoing battle with bipolar and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and he became a patron of the Bipolar UK charity in 2015. Nevertheless, following last night’s incident, the 35-year-old issued a statement on social media apologising to Asada, the fans and the PDC.
“I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely apologise for my actions last night,” Wade said. “Seigo Asada is a great player and I would like to say sorry to him, the fans and the PDC.
“Anyone that has followed my professional career will know that this was very out of character for me and I am disappointed in myself with the way I acted both on the stage and in my interviews after the match.
“I was fighting a battle with myself before I even got on the stage due to a hypo mania episode which can happen to me at any time and no-one is more upset than I am about what happened. I would like to again apologise and hope that people can understand how remorseful I am.”
The PDC have confirmed that the incident has been referred to the Darts Regulation Authority for investigation, but for Wade, his attention now switches to a third-round tie against either Jelle Klaasen or Keegan Brown on Sunday afternoon.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC