'It just makes me stronger' - darts player Deta Hedman on racist abuse

Darts player Deta Hedman
Hedman finished runner-up at Lakeside in 2012, 2014 and 2016

Former BDO World Championship runner-up Deta Hedman has said she refuses to be deterred after she was sent racist and offensive abuse in an email.

Hedman, 59, was born in Jamaica, but has lived in Britain since she was 13.

The message, believed to be from Finland, arrived after she was beaten in this year's championship by Maria O'Brien last weekend.

"It doesn't put me off - it just makes me stronger," she told BBC Radio 5 live.

"I just carry on and show I am better."

Hedman, the third seed at Lakeside this year and one of the most experienced players in the sport, says she has received racial abuse in the past and continues to do so.

"It has always been there. It never really went away." she said. "It's not all the time, just now and again.

"The first line of the email said 'go kill yourself'. You shouldn't tell anyone to do that.

"Then it was the old tirade of what he called me. Nobody should take that."

Hedman has reported the abusive email to the police and has received support from fellow players and supporters.

"Things have got better because in the past, every tournament I went to, someone would have something nasty to say but it was behind your back, never to your face," she added.

"Then you just smiled and moved on. Now you can do something about it."

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