Andy Baetens became the first Belgian to win a world darts title as he claimed the WDF crown at Lakeside…
Andy Baetens became the first Belgian to win a world darts title as he claimed the WDF crown at Lakeside on Sunday, while Beau Greaves made it back-to-back women’s titles.
Baetens, the number one seed, came into the event protecting an unbeaten record in all competitions stretching back to September, and blitzed his way to a ninth ranking of the year.
The 34-year-old produced an emphatic display to thrash Holland’s Chris Landman 6-1 in the final with a 93.7 average, winning 19 of the 26 legs contested.
Baetens romped to the opening set without reply, before taking out 120 to make it six on the spin and double his advantage.
He then edged a crucial third set in a deciding leg to go further clear, before firing in the first and only 170 checkout of the tournament to force a fourth set decider.
However, it was Landman who hit back in leg five to get off the mark, but it proved to be his sole contribution to the scoreline.
Baetens dominated set five by three legs to one and repeated the feat in the sixth to move to the verge of victory.
A magnificent 146 checkout handed the Belgian the first leg of the seventh set, and after doubling his lead, he stormed over the finish line with a 13-darter on tops.
“I think today was a good performance, Chris missed a couple of doubles and I took advantage of it,” said Baetens.
“I think I deserve to be World Champion. All year we fight for it, each day I train for 3-4 hours to stand here.
“The crowd was amazing and that’s what we play darts for, I’m very happy to be the champion here.”
Earlier in the evening, Greaves became the fifth player to successfully defend the women’s world title as she overcame Aileen de Graaf 4-1.
Greaves had dropped just two legs en route to the final but was offered a stern test by the number two seed – who threatened a late revival.
The 19-year-old took the first set 3-1 before coasting to the second in three straight legs to take a firm grip on the final.
De Graaf fought back to send the third set to a deciding leg, but it was Greaves who crucially took it to move three clear.
However, the reigning Dutch Open champion dug deep again to close out the fourth set 3-1 and get on the scoreboard, but Greaves responded with legs of 18, 14 and 16 darts to clinch the fifth set without reply and scoop the £25,000 top prize.
“It’s what I came here for,” said Greaves. “I’m so happy I got out in front and played well.
“Winning it last year was massive, I came in off the back of a really bad dartitis spell so to be able to go up there and be fluent was really nice.
“This year has been different, coming in as reigning champion and everyone wants to beat you, but I just relaxed and prepared well.
“I absolutely loved it and probably felt more comfortable this year. My averages were okay, I’m just so happy – what more could you want being 19 and a twice world champion?”
The final day of action at Lakeside also saw 15-year-old Bradley van der Velden claim the Boys’ title courtesy of a 3-0 victory over Ireland’s Adam Dee.
Aurora Fochesato, 17, also created history by becoming the first Italian winner at Lakeside as she defeated Hungary’s Krisztina Turai in straight sets in the Girls’ final.
WDF World Championship 2023 Results
Sunday December 10
Women’s Final – Beau Greaves 4-1 Aileen de Graaf
Men’s Final – Andy Baetens 6-1 Chris Landman
Kwiff sign-up offer: Bet £10 and get a £30 Surprise Bet
Qualifying real money bet of £10. Min odds greater than or equal to 1.5 required. E/W bets excluded. Offer awarded immediately but could be issued the next working day in exceptional circumstances such as technical fault. Additional T&Cs apply. Please gamble responsibly.