Van den Bergh: World Cup success can inspire next generation

Dimitri Van den Bergh in action at the World Cup of Darts

Dimitri Van den Bergh is hoping to inspire a new generation of Belgian talent ahead of his fifth consecutive Cazoo World Cup of Darts appearance in Frankfurt.

Van den Bergh and Kim Huybrechts will continue their partnership at the Eissporthalle from June 16-19, with 32 two-player teams vying for glory across four days of competition.

Belgium have been perennial contenders since the tournament’s inception in 2010, finishing runners-up in 2013 and reaching the semi-finals in five of the last seven editions.

Van den Bergh has featured in two of those semi-finals, and the former two-time World Youth Champion believes the time has come to clinch a maiden World Cup crown. 

“Every time I can put that shirt on and play for my nation, it is a day of pride,” said the world number nine.

“You feel special, because you’ve been picked to play for your country, and you could win a title for your country. Those are opportunities that I am going to make the most of.

“I believe in myself, I believe in the partner that I have. We have known each other for a long time, and we are also saying it’s about time we get this title under our belt.

“It is a dream for me and Kim. It has been spoken about every year, and this could be our time.”

The fourth seeds begin their campaign on Friday against 2019 semi-finalists Japan, led by debutants Toru Suzuki and Tomoya Goto.

Belgium could meet top seeds England if they progress to the semi-finals, with Premier League duo Michael Smith and James Wade competing together for the first time.

Danny Noppert and Dirk van Duijvenbode also form a new-look pairing for four-time winners Netherlands, therefore continuity could be key for Van den Bergh and Huybrechts.

“Kim knew me from when I was born,” continued Van den Bergh, the 2020 World Matchplay champion.

“He took me under his wing. I grew up alongside him. His older brother Ronny Huybrechts is big mates with my dad. They used to play pairs and competitions together. 

“Ronny’s youngest son is my best mate, he is like a brother to me, so we are practically family.”

Van den Bergh is the current poster boy of Belgian darts, having clinched his second senior televised title with victory over Gary Anderson at last weekend’s Nordic Darts Masters.

The 27-year-old’s rise to prominence has contributed to the sport’s increasing profile in Belgium, but he believes that World Cup success could be a defining moment for the sport in his country.

“The fact that Belgian TV has jumped on board with the PDC and are broadcasting the tournaments – that alone is a massive thing,” added Van den Bergh, a finalist at last month’s European Darts Open.

“We get lots of newspaper and radio coverage now, which is incredible.

“I don’t even know what kind of effect it will have on young players in Belgium, because it is already very big now.

“If we do manage to lift that trophy up in the air, if we do manage to become World Cup champions, I think that is going to be the perfect hype for darts in Belgium.”

Tickets for the Cazoo World Cup of Darts are on sale now through PDC Europe.

The Cazoo World Cup of Darts will be televised on Sky Sports for UK viewers, through the PDC's international broadcast partners, including DAZN and Viaplay, and on PDCTV for Rest of the World Subscribers.