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Andy "The Beast" Baetens tears apart his opponent in the World Darts Championship final at the legendary Lakeside |  Arrows

Andy “The Beast” Baetens tears apart his opponent in the World Darts Championship final at the legendary Lakeside | Arrows

For many years, the BDO has been the barometer for all things darts, with the World Cup tournament at the iconic Lakeside Hall serving as the annual crown jewel.

Due to competition from the more established PDC association, BDO was gradually pushed into the background, until the plug was pulled in 2020.

The World Darts Federation (WDF) has stepped into this gap and positioned itself as the natural successor to the BDO. The World Championship at Lakeside also remained unchanged.

In this WDF Andy Baetens has won almost everything to win this season. In normal life, Baetens works in a supermarket, but with arrows in his hands he turns into a “monster.”

Having not lost a match since September, Baetens started the World Cup as the favourite. Pole Bialecki, Scot Stone, Australian Tata and Swede Nilsson were respectively combined to reach the final.

Here he met Dutchman Chris Landman, who had dined with two former world champions along with Gilly Klaassen and Neil Duff. But Baetens turned out to be of a different caliber.

At no point was Landman able to threaten Baetens. It took 7 games before he could win for the first time and could only win by a set of 3-0 to 3-1.

The “beast” stopped abandoning its prey. In the final set, he also achieved 124th, bettering him by 20 in the first leg.

At length Baetens threw himself before the dartboard. He is the first Belgian to win an elite world darts title.

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Andy Baetens, like almost all players on the WDF circuit, is not a professional player. However, he has been training like crazy in recent months, and his goal is to win the world title.

“I’m very happy,” says the 34-year-old East Flemish national. “I trained for 3-4 hours every day for 3-4 months.”

“I stood here with great confidence. I knew that my opponents had to be strong to be able to beat me.”

We also hope Baetens takes this self-confidence with him to PDC qualifiers in early January. Baetens wants to try to get a tour card at the so-called Q School, in order to move up to the professional level.