Youngest world champions in any sport: Where would Luke Littler rank if he wins World Darts Championship?

Luke Littler aims to become the youngest player ever to win the World Darts Championship, at just 16 years old. 

He has taken the darts world, and to some degree the sporting world, by storm as he raced to the final taking down two previous world champions during his journey.

The teenage debutant started his tournament by beating Christian Kist in straight sets, averaging 106.12, which is the highest ever by a player on debut at the World Championship.

He now faces Luke Humphries in the final, a player Littler was beaten by as a 12-year-old after they played each other in a competition in Hayling Island.

If he is to avenge that defeat, he could make darts history but where will he rank among the youngest world champions across the sporting world?

All-time youngest world darts champions

Sshould Littler triumph over Humphries, he would become the youngest PDC world champion in history by eight years.

Michael van Gerwen currently holds the record for the youngest champion, winning at the age of 24 in 2014. 

Player Year Age
Michael van Gerwen 2014 24
Adrian Lewis 2011 25
Rob Cross 2018 27
Michael Smith 2023 32
Phil Taylor 1995 34
Gerwyn Price 2021 35
John Part 2003 36
Dennis Priestley 1994 43
Gary Andersen 2015 44
Peter Wright 2019 49

Youngest sporting world champions ever

Littler’s triumph could put him above a whole host of sporting prodigies in becoming a world champion as a teenager.

Indeed, at 16 years 11 months, he would beat out the likes of Pele and Tiger Woods in how quickly he ascended to the very top of his sport. 

The youngest ever grand slam winner in tennis, Martina Hingis, has him beat by seven months — albeit as an imperfect comparison, given tennis has four majors per year up for grabs rather than one true ‘world championship’. 

Athlete Sport Age
Martina Hingis Tennis (Australian Open) 16 years 4 months
Michael Chang Tennis (French Open) 17 years 4 months
Wilfred Benitez Boxing 17 years 5 months
Pele Football 17 years 8 months
Ronnie O’Sullivan Snooker 17 years 11 months
Darko Milicic Basketball (NBA) 18 years
Freddie Lindstrom Baseball (MLB) 18 years
Larry Hillman Hockey (NHL) 18 years
Aaqib Javed Cricket 19 years 7 months
Mike Tyson Boxing (Heavyweight) 20 years 4 months
Francois Steyn Rugby 20 years 5 months
Tiger Woods Golf 21 years 3 months
Jamal Lewis  American Football (NFL) 21 years 5 months
Jon Jones UFC 23 years
Sebastian Vettel Formula 1 23 years 5 months

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