Our friend & colleague Jacco Krook (http://www.facebook.com/Dartfreak-Jacco-112347950269442) has put together his preview of the World Championships from a continental perspective. There are some excellent suggestions for interesting game and much more information regarding mainland European players than is usual in these reviews. We hope you enjoy it.
Wesley Harms, Jim Williams and Richard Veenstra are three players changing the top spots of the rankings for a year or so, so I think it is obvious those three are the favourites.
Wesley won the England Classic, England National Championships, British Open and Scottish Open amongst other so has certainly showed he is a player able to win the upcoming World Championship. Sparky however didn’t really shine on the big stage in 2019 with a quarter final at the World Trophy, last 16 in the BDO World Championship and ending fourth in the group stage of the Grand Slam of Darts
Jim seems not to have the top form he had in 2018 if we look at tournament wins. The Welshman however made it to the semi finals after losing against Glen Durrant and with the BDO World Trophy 2019 under his belt The Quiff is certainly a player able to win the upcoming World Championship.
Richard recovered well from a bad BDO World Championship 2019 by winning the Dutch Open 2019. Probably the hardest open event to win in BDO darts. He also made it to the final of the BDO World Trophy, however losing against Jim Williams. So that might be an interesting semi final if the both reach the semi finals of the upcoming BDO World Championship. Flyers also won the Luxembourg Open and Isle of Man Classic.
Martijn Kleermaker has had a tremendous 2019 and therefore is certainly a player in the form needed to win a world title. Martijn made it to the semi finals of the WDF World Cup singles 2019 and won the Welsh Open, Luxembourg Open and had a successful weekend in his home country winning both the West-Fries Open and West-Fries Masters. Martijn however has relatively little experience on the big stage playing the Finder Darts Masters only twice and losing his last 16 match at the BDO World Trophy 2019, which might be a disadvantage but I expect Martijn to be one of the players who might take the chance if the favourites don’t perform their best.
Scott Waites might be not the top player he has been. Scotty2hotty however is a player who is always dangerous on the big stage as he showed in 2019 making the final of the BDO World Championship for the third time in history after being crowned BDO World Champion in 2013 and 2016. Since his last world title he did it each year a little better with respectively a quarter final, semi final and runner-up spot so if he retains that line he will be the BDO World Champion for the third time in history. He was also the runner-up at the World Masters 2019.
Wayne Warren is in my opinion an often underestimated player, also sometimes by myself. I think that is because he rarely perform great stuff, but other players have to perform on their best to beat him. Because Warren is comparable to players like James Wade someone who does the right stuff at the right moment without playing extraordinarily well. This is also shown by the fact that he is almost always selected for the Welsh national team and made it to the semi finals of the WDF World Cup 2011 and 2013 as well as of the WDF Europe Cup 2010. In 2019 he added the Antwerp Open title to his honors list.
Nick Kenny was longtime regarded as one of the talented youth players we had to look out for in the future. For example, he won the WDF Europe Cup youth back in 2010 and won two PDC Development Tours in 2014. In 2014 he also reached the last 16 of the World Masters. Since then he seemed to drop from the top of the rankings and it seemed he was one of the many talented players who wouldn’t make it in the world of darts. But he didn’t give up and made it to the semi finals of the World Trophy 2017 and retained climbing up the ranking. 2019 was very successful for the Welsh lad winning the Belgium Open, French Open and Bruges Open as well as the team event of the WDF World Cup. Therefore Kenny is back in the top of the BDO and will be one of the outsiders for the trophy.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Dave Parletti is a dangerous player. He won the Welsh Classic and Romanian Open 2019 and is the number four seed. He also beat William O’Connor at the Grand Slam of Darts 2019, which shows he is a very capable player. At the big stage he further however only reached the last 16 of the World Masters 2018. So he is certainly a good player but seems to need to up his performances on the big stage.
Mario Vandenbogaerde surprised me at the Darts Festival Sevenum 2017. A tournament in the south of the Netherlands with some known players and a huge field of players, however not a ranked event so only little top players. This Belgian player of whom I have never heard of before made it to the final, where he lost an extremely tense final and both players played a great match. I tried to find out who he was and where he came from after quite a lot of time I learned he had been a Belgian top player for years, before he had stopped playing darts for a while and just started playing darts again. The rest is history, because in 2018 Super Mario went playing some BDO-events and won the Luxembourg Masters 2018 and German Open 2019. In 2019 he also reached the big stages reaching the last 16 of the World Trophy and the semi finals of the World Masters. So this Belgian player is certainly one to watch.
Sebastian Steyer of whom an article will be posted very soon guaranteed himself a spot in the first round of the BDO World Championship by being the number 24 of the BDO Invitational Table at the cut-off date. He will be the fourth Polish player to participate in the BDO World Championship after Krzysztof Ratajski, Krzysztof Kciuk and Karolina Podgorska has played on the Lakeside stage. Steyer impressed at the World Trophy 2019, where he reached the semi finals eventually losing against number one seed Richard Veenstra. He also played PDC Q-School last January and came only one point short of winning a PDC Tour Card so he definitely is a player to watch.
Thibault Tricole is one of the players I have interviewed before to offer people some insight in his career and life and the status of darts in France. Thibault qualified by being the highest ranked player on the Western European ranking which hadn’t qualified yet by being in the top 27 at the cut-off date. I really think Thibault could have done even better but wasn’t able to play the whole BDO-tour. The Frenchman however won the Greek Open and Torremolins Open in 2019 and therefore is certainly a player to watch. However he has little experience on the big stage which I assume will be a disadvantage for him, definitely after he acknowledged he has to improve his playing under pressure.
Andreas Harrysson of whom an article will be posted very soon qualified by being the highest player on the Baltic & Scandinavian ranking. Andreas is an experienced player and tough opponent. He however play only little outside of Scandinavia. He has already showed what he is capable of. He reached the WDF World Cup 2019 quarter finals after he already reached the semi finals of the WDF Europe Cup 2016. He also won the Finnish Masters 2018 and made it to the final of the Swedish Open 2018 and semi finals of the Denmark Masters 2019 and Polish Open 2018.
INTERESTING FIRST ROUND MATCHES
Mario Vandenbogaerde and Sebastian Steyer will kick off the BDO World Championship. A match between two players to watch. Sebastian has made it to the semi finals of the World Trophy, while Mario was a semi finalist of the World Masters. Need I say more?
Number 8 seed Willem Mandigers from the Netherlands will meet Michael Unterbuchner from Germany. Last year they delivered a great match in the quarter finals, which Michael won 5-4. If they only can get close to their quarter final match of last year we have a decent game on our hands.
Scott Waites against Martin Adams, the only players to win multiple world titles in the mens event have drawn each other in the first round. A two times world champion against a three times world champion after a very interesting encounter in the ladies event. Is there a better way to spend the Monday evening?
Former BDO World Champion Scott Mitchell will play Leighton Bennett, one of the revelations of 2019. The 13-year old Leighton has had a tremendous year, but can he beat the experienced and popular Scott Mitchell?