Labanauskas & Larsson seal World Champs spots as PDCNB season concludes

Darius Labanauskas celebrates (PDC)

Darius Labanauskas claimed a hat-trick of titles to secure his Alexandra Palace return, as the PDC Nordic & Baltic ProTour season concluded in Riga last weekend.

Former World Championship quarter-finalist Labanauskas turned on the style in Latvia to confirm his qualification for the 2022/23 Cazoo World Darts Championship alongside Sweden’s Daniel Larsson. 

The top two players from the Nordic & Baltic Order of Merit were guaranteed a place at Alexandra Palace, and Labanauskas claimed top spot after winning the weekend’s opening three events.

The Lithuanian stormed past Veijo Viinikka to triumph in Event Seven on Friday, before recording consecutive 6-4 victories over Madars Razma and Larsson to prevail in Saturday’s first event.

The 46-year-old maintained his remarkable winning run by easing to victory in Event Nine, courtesy of successive 6-1 wins over Dennis Nilsson and Vladimir Andersen in the latter stages.

Labanauskas’ bid for a fourth straight title was curtailed by Marko Kantele in Event Ten on Sunday, after the Finnish veteran averaged over 98 to close out a stunning whitewash win in the last eight.

Kantele repeated the feat with a 6-0 demolition of Nilsson in the semi-finals, before edging out Larsson in Sunday’s showpiece, recovering from 4-3 down to clinch his first title of 2022.

However, Larsson was left to celebrate securing his fourth World Championship appearance, with Denmark’s number one Andersen third on the Order of Merit, ahead of Razma in fourth.

Danish duo Benjamin Drue Reus and Nikolaj Jørgensen were the highest ranked youth players on the Order of Merit, which ensures they will feature in October’s Winmau World Youth Championship.

Drue Reus, who made his televised debut in June's Nordic Darts Masters, finished in eighth position, with Jørgensen further back in 27th.

PDCNB Cazoo World Darts Championship Qualifiers
Darius Labanauskas
Daniel Larsson 

PDCNB Winmau World Youth Championship Qualifiers
Benjamin Drue Reus
Nikolaj Jørgensen

PDC Nordic & Baltic ProTour
Friday August 12
Event Seven

Darius Labanauskas 6-5 Jyri Ussa
Veijo Viinikka 6-4 Paavo Myller

Darius Labanauskas 6-2 Veijo Viinikka

Saturday August 13
Event Eight

Darius Labanauskas 6-4 Madars Razma
Daniel Larsson 6-1 Andreas Harrysson 

Darius Labanauskas 6-4 Daniel Larsson

Event Nine

Darius Labanauskas 6-1 Dennis Nilsson
Vladimir Andersen 6-3 Jani Keskinarkaus

Darius Labanauskas 6-1 Vladimir Andersen

Sunday August 14
Event Ten

Marko Kantele 6-0 Dennis Nilsson
Daniel Larsson 6-2 Johan Engstrom

Marko Kantele 6-4 Daniel Larsson