Two-times champs Durrant and Waites shape up for Lakeside classic and Suzuki is crowned first Asian World Champion

Defending champion Glen Durrant and 2013 and 2016 winner Scott Waites will face off in the 2019 BDO World Darts Championship men’s final after both came through their respective semi-finals today.

The final will be a rematch of their 2016 BDO Worlds quarter-final, in which the Middlesbrough man’s heart was broken by Waites as he surrendered a 4-2 lead to lose 5-4.

‘Scotty 2 Hotty’ too much for Unterbuchner

Waites kicked off the men’s semi-final action this afternoon with a resounding 6-1 defeat of German Michael Unterbuchner, who was unable to better his semi-final placing of 2018. Waites’ control of the game looked unfettered with Unterbuchner only able to salvage the one set in the match in total. After taking the first set against the darts, ‘Scotty 2 Hotty’ went on to rattle off a further 4 sets on the bounce before the ‘T Rex’ settled a little, winning the sixth with a 95 checkout to prevent the whitewash. It was back to business for Scott in the seventh, however, despite all five legs going against the throw, double 18 came to his rescue to send him into his third World final.

Duzza makes it three world finals on the trot

In the other men’s semi-final, Glen Durrant was the victor in a highly competitive tie between the two good friends. Jim Williams took the first set without response from the two-times BDO World Championship and World Masters champion, capping it off with an 11 darter to set his stall out early. In the next set, however, Durrant responded with a 110 checkout in the final leg after Jim missed a dart at double 12 from 98 to go 2-0 up in sets. The third similarly went all the way with Glen again taking it to establish a 2-1 lead over the Welshman. Jim Williams had a superb end to his 2018 BDO season, winning the Northern Ireland Open and the English Masters in the second half of the year as well as reaching semi-finals at the televised World Masters and Zuiderduin Masters but the semi-final looked to be slipping from him as Glen broke throw in the fifth leg of the fourth set to reach the halfway mark in his fourth BDO world semi-final encounter. Jim Williams stopped the rot in the next though as he won the set 3-1 to reduce the gap between him and the world number one to just one set.

A tight sixth set ensued with Jim Williams this time just edging it 3-2 to level proceedings at 3-3. In the seventh set, both were once again trading blows with Glen pinning a crucial double 4 to take it 3-1. Now leading 4-3, the pressure was on Williams to keep close to the Teessider but a classy 115 out in the eighth set to go within one of victory made it seem as though the writing was on the wall for the Welshman. And, despite some scrappy doubling from the two, Glen then optimised his brilliant finishing ability to close out victory with a 123 out to win the match 6-3

Glen Durrant’s hopes of becoming the second man to win three BDO world titles on the trot remain after he defeated Wales’ Jim Williams

Who will become a three-times Lakeside champion on Sunday evening?

It is a final many might have predicted; Glen Durrant has long been the BDO number one and rarely goes into an event as an outsider and Scott Waites’ brilliant record at the championship always makes him a threat. But will we see a ‘surprise’ winner? No secret has been made of Duzza’s keenness to match Eric Bristow’s 30 year+ feat of being the only man to have won three BDO World Championships on the trot but his opponent, who, if he wins the world title himself tomorrow night, will also reach three Lakeside crowns (matching Bristow, van Barneveld and Adams), will have record-based ambitions of his own. There seems to be few variables about this final: both have played two finals on the Lakeside stage before and have plenty of big game experience. Simply, it will either be their day or not, and with both signed up to head to Q-School in Wigan next week, it could well be a fairytale farewell to the BDO (for now) for one of them if they lift the trophy once again. Hopefully, it will be a final to remember and will be one, irrespective of winner, which sees some records set (or matched).

Suzuki puts in stellar display to win World title

Japanese star Mikuru Suzuki put in one of the performances of the tournament to defeat Lorraine Winstanley 3-2 to win the 2019 BDO Women’s World Championship. Suzuki was not messing around on Saturday afternoon as she opened the final tie between her and the number one seed with a 140 out. She continued in similar fashion in the next leg, converting a crowd-rousing 148 to take a 2-0 lead in legs. After winning the first set with an 80 out, she then went on to go 2/3 of the way into a perfect leg, very nearly making history on the Lakeside Country Club stage. After again establishing a 2-0 leg lead, Winstanley won her first leg of the match before Suzuki took out 74 to go within one set of the title. The nerves simply didn’t get to the Japanese thrower to ‘The Miracle’ as, despite Lorraine winning her second leg of the final, the relentless Suzuki once again had her eyes on the outer ring, hitting double 20 at first attempt to win the title. The win, a phenomenal victory not only for Suzuki but for Japanese darts, will be a huge surprise to many, with Mikuru being a long shot at the commencement of the tournament but, despite only making the event as a qualifier, is a culmination of what has been some phenomenal form over in Asia, where she plays the majority of her darts. Hopefully, the win will usher in a new era for ladies darts and, as Quest and Eurosport commentator and pundit Paul Nicholson suggested, will see one of the BDO’s major events head over to the continent. With the emerging darts scene over in Asia better than its ever been, it looks to be a very bright future for darts. Thanks for reading and catch you later!

Mikuru Suzuki is the first Asian winner of a World Championship of either code or gender

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