Ballaj qualifies for European Tour debut becoming first Albanian-born player to feature
Arsen Ballaj will become the first Albanian-born player to appear on the European Tour after qualifying for his debut on Thursday evening in Riesa, Germany.
Ballaj, who appeared at European Qualifying School in January without success, was one of eight players to come through the Host Nation Qualifier for the International Darts Open.
Despite originally residing from Albania, the 38-year-old is based in Hannover and holds a dual-citizenship, allowing him to participate in the German qualifiers on the European Tour.
Daniel Sprudzs, Patrick Heitmueller and Fabian Freitag were all brushed aside by Ballaj as he pulled off a moment of history at the Sachsen Arena.
Meanwhile, two-time BDO World Championship Michael Unterbuchner qualified for his second successive European Tour event, overcoming Andreas Schnellhardt in a deciding leg thriller to seal his spot.
Former professional tour card holder Robert Marijanovic, Michael Rosenauer and Franz Roetzsch all secured their European Tour returns.
Simeon Heinz reappears on the stage for the first time in two years, while youngsters Sebastian Pohl and Philipp Hagermann make their European Tour debuts in Riesa.
INTERNATIONAL DARTS OPEN
Thursday October 22
Host Nation Qualifier
Robert Marijanovic 6-3 Robin Beger
Simeon Heinz 6-4 Michael Hurtz
Michael Unterbuchner 6-5 Andreas Schnellhardt
Philipp Hagermann 6-3 Patrick Plotz
Franz Roetzsch 6-2 Kevin Knopf
Sebastian Pohl 6-4 Egor Tvorogov
Michael Rosenauer 6-1 Erik Tautfest
Arsen Ballaj 6-2 Fabian Freitag
(Featured Image: Sven Mandel/PDC Europe)