Tomoya Goto, Paolo Nebrida and Reynaldo Rivera have sealed their qualification for the 2023/24 Paddy Power World Darts Championship following the conclusion of the 2023 PDC Asian Tour in Qingdao.
The Chinese mainland played host to its first PDC Asian Tour weekend with Events 22-24, as the battle for World Championship qualification reached a dramatic climax.
Philippines ace Lourence Ilagan was already assured of his place in the sport’s flagship event ahead of the weekend, after winning a brace of titles while reaching a further four finals during an impressive campaign this year.
Ilagan will be joined in the sport's biggest tournament by fellow countrymen Nebrida and Rivera, who finished third and fourth respectively on the final PDC Asian Tour Order of Merit.
Nebrida reached four consecutive finals in Events 18-21, and he confirmed his qualification with a run to the Event 24 decider, where he was dispatched by Japanese talent Goto.
Goto performed magnificently to claim his second Asian Tour title of 2023, posting a ton-plus average to thrash Nebrida and seal his World Championship debut in style.
The 27-year-old conceded just six legs en route to glory, edging out Man Lok Leung in a last-leg shoot-out, before whitewashing Rivera in the semi-finals.
Event 23 winner Rivera will also make his Alexandra Palace bow in December, securing the fourth qualification spot on count-back ahead of Leung.
Rivera clinched his second title of the campaign on Saturday with a 5-2 victory against compatriot Alexis Toylo, having earlier won through a deciding-leg clash against PDC Asian Champion Christian Perez.
The weekend’s opening event was won by Hong Kong youngster Lok Yin Lee, who edged out Philippines’ Rosendo Lubaton to double his tally of titles in 2023.
Lee dumped out Nebrida and Singapore's iconic star Paul Lim in his run to the Event 22 title, before winning through another nine-leg affair against China’s Junjie Li in the semi-finals.
Following the conclusion of the 2023 Asian Tour, the second staging of the PDC Asian Championship will take place next month, with a further three World Championship places up for grabs.
The 2023 PDC Asian Championship will be held from October 5-8 at the Kaikyo Messe Shimonoseki in Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi, as the continent’s top stars compete in the US$100,000 event.
The PDC Asian Championship winner and runner-up will qualify for the World Darts Championship, but if either or both players have already qualified from the PDC Asian Tour Order of Merit then the place(s) would be passed to the next-best-placed non-qualified player from the PDC Asian Championship (split by PDC Asian Tour OOM if required using standard PDC countback rules).
In addition, if no Japanese player reaches the PDC Asian Championship final, the best-placed non-qualified Japanese player from the PDC Asian Championship will also qualify for the World Championship.
Any ties will be split by the PDC Asian Tour Order of Merit if required, using standard PDC countback rules. If one or both of the PDC Asian Championship finalists are Japanese, this place will pass to the PDC Asian Tour Order of Merit.
2023 PDC Asian Tour
September 9-10, Qingdao, China
Rosendo Lubaton 4-2 Xiaochen Zong
Sonny Balagat 4-2 Tomoya Goto
Junjie Li 4-3 Man Lok Leung
Lok Yin Lee 4-2 Paul Lim
Rosendo Lubaton 5-0 Sonny Balagat
Lok Yin Lee 5-4 Junjie Li
Lok Yin Lee 5-4 Rosendo Lubaton
Alexis Toylo 4-1 Lourence Ilagan
Tomoya Goto 4-1 Jun Matsuda
Reynaldo Rivera 4-2 Lok Yin Lee
Sando Sosing 4-1 Xiaochen Zong
Alexis Toylo 5-4 Tomoya Goto
Reynaldo Rivera 5-2 Sandro Sosing
Reynaldo Rivera 5-2 Alexis Toylo
Lourence Ilagan 4-2 Mitsuhiko Tatsunami
Paolo Nebrida 4-0 Rosendo Lubaton
Tomoya Goto 4-3 Man Lok Leung
Reynaldo Rivera 4-3 Yoshihisa Baba
Paolo Nebrida 5-2 Lourence Ilagan
Tomoya Goto 5-0 Reynaldo Rivera
Tomoya Goto 5-1 Paolo Nebrida
PDC Asian Tour - World Championship Qualifiers
1. Lourence Ilagan
2. Tomoya Goto
3. Paolo Nebrida
4. Reynaldo Rivera