August 21, 2023 – Nijman And Littler Win PDC Tour Cards

A Week In Darts – August 21, 2023 – Nijman And Littler Secure Tour Cards

All the attention was on the darting stars of the future at the weekend as the PDC Development Tour season drew to a close and the PDC World Youth Championship was played down to the final. Welcome back to A Week In Darts – Darts Corner’s look back at the last seven days in the world of darts.

NIJMAN AND LITTLER CLINCH TOUR CARD SPOTS

The 2023 PDC Development Tour reached its finale with Events 21-24 taking place at the Marshall Arena, in Milton Keynes, on Friday and Saturday.

A spot in the 2023 Grand Slam of Darts, along with a pair of PDC World Championship spots and two-year PDC tour cards, were on the line for the world’s brightest young talents.

Friday’s titles went to Austria’s Rusty-Jake Rodriguez and Poland’s Sebastian Bialecki, while the last two events were claimed by the top two players on the Development Tour Order of Merit – Gian van Veen and Luke Littler

For van Veen, it was a sixth Development Tour title of the season and helped him to secure top spot on the final Order of Merit and a debut in the Grand Slam in November.

Meanwhile, Littler’s fifth tournament victory of the campaign saw him finish in second place and with it a debut in the PDC World Championship in December. The 16-year-old has also won a two-year tour card to play on the professional circuit starting from next year.

With van Veen on the first year of his tour card, and also set to qualify for Alexandra Palace via the ProTour Order of Merit, it means that Mission Darts’ Wessel Nijman, who finished third on the Order of Merit, has also clinched a tour card and a spot in the World Championship.

LINE UP SET FOR WORLD YOUTH FINAL IN MINEHEAD

Gian van Veen and Luke Littler will contest this year’s PDC World Youth Championship final after battling through a 96-player field in Milton Keynes on Sunday.

The biggest youth tournament in darts was played down to the final at the Marshall Arena, with van Veen and Littler, the players who finished first and second on the Development Tour Order of Merit, both winning through to the final.

Van Veen was pushed all the way in his last two matches, edging last-leg deciders against defending champion Josh Rock and fellow Dutchman Wessel Nijman in the quarter-finals and semi-finals.

“I did it the hard way but I knew that was going to be the case,” van Veen said. “This gives me so much confidence. I think it’s going to be a fantastic game against Luke and I’m really looking forward to Minehead.”

Reigning JDC world champion Littler will become the youngest player to feature in the final of the PDC’s premier youth event, with the 16-year-old wiring double 12 for a nine darter during his 6-3 win over Sebastian Bialecki in the semi-finals.

“This is a massive achievement in my career,” Littler said. “It’s my first year on the Development Tour and my ambition at the start of the year was just to win one Development Tour event, and now I’ve finished the runner-up and I’m in the World Youth Championship final!”

Van Veen and Littler will face off in the final for the £10,000 top prize at Butlin’s Minehead on November 26.

AROUND THE BOARD

Away from the PDC, it has been a busy week on the WDF circuit with events taking place in Australia and Sweden.

The platinum-graded Australian Open saw WDF world number one Andy Baetens (men’s) and Lisa Ashton (women’s) claim the titles in New South Wales.

Baetens lived up to his world ranking as he got the better of reigning WDF world champion Neil Duff 10-2 in the final.

Four-time women’s world champion Ashton won the Australian Open for the second time as she beat Aileen de Graaf 8-4 in the final.

The Swedish Open and Swedish Masters were both held in Malmo over the weekend, with Beau Greaves doubling up to win both the women’s titles.

The teenager edged past Deta Hedman 5-4 in the Open final, before prevailing 5-2 against Finland’s Kirsi Viinikainen 5-2 in the Masters decider.

The men’s titles were shared out as Switzerland ace Thomas Junghans took home the Open title, beating Darren Johnson 6-4 in the final. Meanwhile, Berry van Peer beat Liam Maendl-Lawrance 6-5 in the final of the Masters.

Pictures: PDC

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