Gorbunov secures World Darts Championship debut as Koltsov misses out in Russia
Dmitriy Gorbunov secured his World Darts Championship debut as the EuroAsian Darts Corporation (EADC) Qualifier took place at the Omega Plaza Business Centre in Moscow, Russia.
Gorbunov, a Russian Open and St Petersburg Open quarter-finalist last year, defeated EADC Pro Tour event winner Roman Obukhov to seal a debut at the World Championship.
The 43-year-old becomes the fifth Russian player to qualify for the sport’s showpiece staging, following in the footsteps of Boris Koltsov, Anastasia Dobromyslova, Aleksandr Oreshkin and Roman Konchikov.
After breezing into the quarter-finals of the tournament in Moscow, Gorbunov thrashed Artem Klyuev, before comfortably overcoming Vitaly Khokhryakov to the loss of a solitary leg to reach the final.
Gorbunov recorded an impressive 92.80 average in his semi-final victory over his countryman Khokhryakov – who ousted heavy favourite Boris Koltsov in the preceding round.
As the format was amended to the sets format for the decider, Gorbunov defeated fellow Russian Obukhov, with a staggering 70 darts at double being missed between the two.
Obukhov staged a remarkable comeback from 5-0 behind to see off Evgenii Izotov in the last eight, prior to denying Latvian Open champion Andrey Pontus of Belarus.
However, the former Kalashnikov Cup champion was left to rue 38 squandered doubles in the final as he fell short of a World Championship debut.
Elsewhere, former PDC Challenge Tour event winner Koltsov squandered eight match darts in his disappointing quarter-final defeat.
Four-time World Championship qualifier Koltsov was the heavy favourite to come through the qualifier in his hometown, though, the 32-year-old will not be in London come December.
Additional qualification events towards the World Championship are to be held in the coming weeks, including from October 31-November 1 in South Africa.
EADC WORLD DARTS CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIER
Saturday October 24
Omega Plaza Business Centre, Moscow, Russia
Vitaly Khokhryakov 6-5 Boris Koltsov
Dmitriy Gorbunov 6-2 Artem Klyuev
Roman Obukhov 6-5 Evgenii Izotov
Andrey Pontus 6-2 Grigory Kirilenko
Dmitriy Gorbunov 6-1 Vitaly Khokhryakov
Roman Obukhov 6-3 Andrey Pontus
Dmitriy Gorbunov 3-1 Roman Obukhov
(3-1, 3-0, 2-3, 3-2)
2021 World Darts Championship
International Qualifiers (as of October 24)
Danny Baggish – CDC American Series
Keane Barry – PDC Development Tour
Matt Campbell – CDC Canadian Series
David Evans – PDC Challenge Tour
Dmitriy Gorbunov – EADC Qualifier
Boris Krcmar – Eastern European Qualifier
Nico Kurz – German Super League
Daniel Larsson – PDC Nordic and Baltic
Danny Lauby – CDC Continental Cup
Chengan Liu – Chinese Qualifier
Gordon Mathers – DPA Pro Tour
Ryan Meikle – PDC Development Tour
Edward Shoji – PDJ Japanese Championship
Kim Viljanen – PDC Nordic and Baltic
(Featured Image: EuroAsian Darts Corporation)