Belgian darts players have had a tougher time at the top recently, but at the base of the pyramid our country is still in excellent shape. Mario Vandenbogaerde was the fourth national to secure a place in the World Cup finals at the end of December, a record for Belgium.
While the standard-bearer for Belgian arrows, Dimitri van den Bergh (PDC 15), has been struggling with his arrows for a while, his other compatriots are doing well.
Mario Vandenbogaerde (PDC 69) managed to qualify for the upcoming PDC World Darts Championship for the first time on Thursday. The 50-year-old freelancer in the construction sector did just that by reaching the eighth finals in the last Players Championship (Floor Championship) of the season.
Because of that Final Eight, his counter on the ProTour, the collection of land championships and tournaments on the European Tour, ends this year at £35,750. This puts Vandenbogaerde in 40th place in the annual rankings, which is good for a World Cup ticket.
Vandenbogaerde becomes the fourth World Cup participant after Van den Berg, Kim Huybrechts and Mike De Decker, which is a record. “Super Mario” becomes the sixth Belgian ever to attend the high block of darts, before being preceded by Eric Klaris and Ronnie Hoybrechts.
Vandenbogaerde is having a good season.
Different qualification criteria
Tickets for the lucrative World Darts Championship, which starts on December 15, are distributed based on various criteria. The top 32 players in the world rankings are guaranteed a place in the World Cup. Thus Van den Bergh and Huebrechts were able to qualify.
The top 32 players in the ProTour standings can also go to the World Cup. Vandenbogaerde may be ranked 40th in this ranking, but there are still plenty of players ahead of him who have already earned a ticket to the World Cup through the world rankings.
If these players are eliminated, Vandenbogaerde will end up eighth in the ProTour standings, meaning his place in the ‘Ally Pally’ is guaranteed.
Mike De Decker (PDC 38), the number three Belgian in the PDC after Van den Berg and Heubrechts, also managed to qualify for the World Cup via the ProTour classification.
‘The Real Deal’, the Belgian number three on the darts circuit for years after Van den Berg and Hoybrechts, has managed to take a step forward this season by entering the top 40 for the first time. The fourth consecutive World Cup will soon begin in London.
Belgians at the World Darts Championships (PDC)
- Eric Claris, two participations: 2004, 2006
- Kim Huybrechts, 13 posts: 2012-2024
- Ronnie Huiberchts, 5 posts: 2014-2018
- Dimitri van den Berg, 8 entries: 2016-2024
- Mike De Decker, 4 posts: 2020-2024
- Mario Vandenbogaerde, 1 post: 2024
“Reader. Unapologetic web fanatic. Student. Beer buff. Social media scholar. Alcohol advocate.”