Gabriel Pascaru has expressed his ‘huge joy’ after becoming the first Romanian player to qualify for the BDO World Championship.
The 33-year-old finished second on the Eastern Europe regional table, following Monday’s cut-off, but has earned a spot in the 40-player men’s field in January, as Sebastian Steyer, who finished top of the standings, qualified through the main Invitational Table in 24th spot.
For Pascaru, who won the Ukraine Open last month, and was runner-up in the Hungarian Masters in November last year, it was a nervy wait over the weekend to see whether Steyer, a recent semi-finalist in the World Trophy, would not drop out of the qualifying places through the BDO’s Seasonal rankings.
“I have been watching for a few months what happens between the first 26 of the BDO rankings, knowing that if Sebastian Steyer stays there and I manage to remain second in Eastern Europe I have a guaranteed place at the O2,” Pascaru said.
“Yes it is (true), so far no player from Romania has achieved this performance (qualifying for the BDO World Championship). It is true that I participated in all the competitions that counted for the Eastern Europe standings.
“But I cannot help but say that without Sebastian’s qualification in the first 26 I would not have been able to qualify. I have to thank him again.
“It is a huge joy that I share with my club colleagues and the leaders of the Romanian Darts Federation, who have wanted as much as me to succeed.”
Romania, which has an estimated population of under 20 million, has been a country that has seen darts grow in recent years, with the Romanian International Open, held in Bucharest since 2010. This year’s staging in January was won by Dave Parletti, who beat Gary Robson 6-5 in the final.
The Romanian Classic, held on the same weekend since 2014, has been twice won by Jamie Hughes, in 2015 and 2016, and was this year won by Greece’s John Michael, a 6-5 winner against Derk Telnekes in the decider.
Next week will see the Romanian Darts Federation play host to the WDF World Cup, in Cluj. A six-day event, starting on Monday, featuring more than 50 countries and over 450 players from around the world.
“Those in the federation are on the last hundred metres with the organisation of the World Cup, but they also made time to follow with great interest what happens in the standings with the last events in Belgium (last weekend),” Pascaru said.
“Next year will be six years since I first put my hand on the arrows. Since then I train daily as much as I can.
“Darts in Romania is constantly growing, for some time we manage to make international competitions more and more often and we even manage to come home with results. My qualification at the O2 I think is the best example.
“I will take it step by step and the next competition is the World Cup in Romania next week where I, along with the other members, hope to do well and reward the work of those from the Romanian Darts Federation. They have made considerable efforts to organise such a competition.”