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Luke Littler beats Nathan Aspinall to win Premier League Darts night nine in Belfast

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Teenager Luke Littler continued his extraordinary rise as he won his first Premier League Darts night with a 6-4 win over Nathan Aspinall in Belfast.

Littler, 17, rose to prominence when he was runner-up to Luke Humphries in the World Darts Championship on debut.

The Premier League debutant had reached the final in week two in Berlin but lost to Michael van Gerwen.

He beat Humphries, who defeated him in January’s World final, in the quarter-finals, and Van Gerwen in the semis.

The win leaves Littler second in the eight-player Premier League Darts table with the top four progressing to the play-offs on 23 May at London’s O2 Arena.

“I’m happy to win,” Littler told Sky Sports. “I’ve practised more tonight and it has paid off.

“I’ve got to enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t perform or play well.”

Since his defeat in January’s World final, Littler has won the Bahrain Masters and the Players Championship One event as he continues his rise through the sport.

His Premier League campaign has been up and down, with two quarter-final defeats in the opening eight weeks, but this win puts him on track to reach the play-offs.

His 6-5 defeat by Van Gerwen in Berlin on night two has not fazed him, with the Warrington-born teenager looking more relaxed as the weeks go by.

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Paris Olympics 2024: ‘Unprecedented’ security operation will be in place, says Games chief

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Paris 2024 chief Tony Estanguet says the Games will protected by an “unprecedented” security operation, and that preparations are “in good shape”.

But with 100 days until the start of the Olympics, he said organisers will “keep some humility, because we know in this kind of event anything can happen in the last stretch”.

Estanguet added he was “very satisfied with where we stand at this moment”.

He told BBC Sport: “My message is you can have confidence with this event.”

Amid mounting concerns over safety, Estanguet said “I would like to reassure that it’s non-negotiable. Security is the priority.”

“It’s the biggest event that France has ever organised, and we want to showcase the best of France. So definitely we are determined to be ready.

“We are looking forward to welcoming the world in Paris.”

“When I discussed this with [London 2012 chief] Seb Coe, he told me…in the last 100 days, there will be more criticism, more people worried. It’s exactly what is happening. My role is to remain calm, remain focused on what is very important to deliver.

“The venues are ready, the budget is balanced. We have very good ticket sales, the level of ambition is very high.”

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Deontay Wilder: Ex-WBC world champion confident of Anthony Joshua fight

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Former WBC world champion Deontay Wilder tells BBC Sport he is “90%” sure a fight with Anthony Joshua will happen in the future, as he prepares to face Zhilei Zhang on 1 June.

READ MORE: Wilder says Joshua fight will be revived with big win over Zhang

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Taulupe Faletau: Wales number eight set for Cardiff return

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Taulupe Faletau back in training with Cardiff
Taulupe Faletau has played 14 games for Cardiff after joining from Bath in 2022

Cardiff and Wales number eight Taulupe Faletau is set to return to action after a six-month injury lay-off.

Faletau, 33, suffered a broken arm in Wales’ World Cup victory against Georgia in Nantes in October 2023 before missing this year’s Six Nations with a calf injury.

The British and Irish Lions Test star has since returned to Cardiff training.

Faletau is available for the United Rugby Championship (URC) trip to face Ulster on Friday night.

Faletau, who has played 104 times for Wales, returns to action with the summer tour to Australia on the horizon.

Head coach Warren Gatland has lost senior figures in Alun Wyn Jones, Justin Tipuric, George North, Dan Biggar, Leigh Halfpenny and Rhys Webb to international retirement in the last 12 months.

In Faletau’s absence, Cardiff back-row duo Alex Mann and Mackenzie Martin have been capped by Wales, while Aaron Wainwright has filled the national number eight role.

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