Thibault Tricole will become the first French player to compete at the PDC World Darts Championship next month, after winning Saturday’s West Europe Qualifier in Germany.
Tricole came through a 97-player field in Kalkar to seal his place in the 2023/24 Paddy Power World Darts Championship, defeating Dutchman Wesley Plaisier 7-4 in the afternoon’s decider.
The 34-year-old partnered Jacques Labre to June’s World Cup of Darts quarter-finals, and he will now make his Alexandra Palace debut after defeating three Tour Card Holders on his way to qualification.
Tricole - a winner of two Winmau Challenge Tour events - swept aside Silvio Lopes Sales in round one, which was followed by a deciding-leg victory against Belgium’s Brian Raman.
The Frenchman then fired in a hat-trick of 15-darters in the latter stages of his 6-3 success against Robbie Knops, before overcoming a trio of Dutch stars to confirm his spot in the sport’s flagship event.
Tricole converted finishes of 80, 96 and 100 to defeat former Lakeside Champion Jelle Klaasen 6-3 in the last eight, before winning through another last-leg shoot-out against Danny van Trijp.
The World Cup quarter-finalist produced 117 and 101 checkouts midway through the semi-final, and he landed a 15-darter in the decider to set up a showdown against Plaisier.
Plaisier – a European Tour semi-finalist in September’s German Darts Open - produced a brilliant 11-darter to dump out his compatriot Danny Jansen in a dramatic quarter-final clash.
The 33-year-old also accounted for Switzerland’s number one Stefan Bellmont in the semi-finals, taking out 96, 78 and 80 combination finishes in consecutive legs on his way to a 6-3 success.
Tricole raced into a 4-1 lead in the final, and although Plaisier reduced the deficit to 4-5 with a 122 checkout, the French trailblazer won the next two legs without reply to confirm his place in the capital.
France will be the 43rd country to be represented at the PDC World Championship, and Labre can join his compatriot at Alexandra Palace if he wins through the Tour Card Holder Qualifier on November 27.
There are four qualification spots on offer at the Tour Card Holder Qualifier in Barnsley, while the other place in the 96-player field will go to the winner of next Saturday's East Europe Qualifier in Budapest.
2023 West Europe World Championship Qualifier
Saturday November 18 - Kalkar, Germany
Danny van Trijp 6-3 Maik Kuivenhoven
Thibault Tricole 6-3 Jelle Klaasen
Wesley Plaisier 6-5 Danny Jansen
Stefan Bellmont 6-4 Mareno Michels
Thibault Tricole 6-5 Danny van Trijp
Wesley Plaisier 6-3 Stefan Bellmont
Thibault Tricole 7-4 Wesley Plaisier