Japan’s Shoji stuns Asada and Suzuki to secure World Darts Championship debut
Edward Shoji secured his World Darts Championship debut after winning the PDJ Japanese National Championships on Sunday evening in Kobe.
Shoji will make his first appearance on the professional scene in December, having defeated compatriot Akihito Morita in a closely contested final.
The Japanese ace breezed through his group in the early stages of the qualifier, before converting an impressive 108 outshot to defeat Tyson Hagi in the second round.
Shoji then registered combination checkouts of 86, 96 and 144 to overcome reigning women’s world champion Mikuru Suzuki, before averaging 95.92 on his way to thrashing Komori Age.
A subsequent whitewash victory over Atsushi Honma booked his place in the semi-finals – where he produced a stunning comeback to defeat three-time and defending champion Seigo Asada.
Six-time PDC Asian Tour event winner Asada constructed a 3-0 advantage, but Shoji reeled off four legs in succession to run out victorious, with Asada averaging below the 70 mark.
Shoji was forced to pull off another stunning resurgence in the final, battling back from 3-1 and 4-2 behind to deny Morita an Alexandra Palace ticket.
Shoji joins eleven additional confirmed international qualifiers, including Australia’s Gordon Mathers, Germany’s Nico Kurz and Irish teenager Keane Barry.
Elsewhere, despite exiting in the semi-finals of the qualifier, Asada could still be involved in December’s showpiece staging as one of the four players from the PDC Asian Tour.
This year’s Asian Tour was cancelled due to ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s currently unclear as to who the four usual spots will go to.
Suzuki also has another opportunity to secure a second successive World Championship appearance, with the inaugural Women’s Series taking place this weekend.
PDJ JAPANESE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Sunday October 11
Kobe Port Terminal Hall, Japan
Atsushi Honma 4-3 Katsuyuki Ito
Ryuki Morikubo 4-2 Tomoya Goto
Komori Age 4-2 Keita Ono
Edward Shoji 4-1 Mikuru Suzuki
Seigo Asada 4-1 Takeshi Yamada
Kazuki Hagane 4-3 Kasumi Sato
Showki Ino 4-3 Tomonari Kurokawa
Shin Higashida 4-2 Kiyoharu Suganuma
Yuki Yamada 4-1 Nobuhiro Yamamoto
Shota Oura 4-3 Hiroto Ichimiya
Katsuya Aiba 4-2 Teppei Nishi
Yuta Hayashi 4-2 Shunya Tahara
Akihito Morita 4-2 Toyokazu Shibata
Toshiyuki Takeuchi 4-3 Kazama Yuta
Osamu Niki 4-3 Tomoya Tsumuru
Shingo Enomata 4-3 Kazuya Fujiwara
Atsushi Honma 4-3 Ryuki Morikubo
Edward Shoji 4-1 Komori Age
Seigo Asada 4-2 Kazuki Hagane
Showki Ino 4-2 Shin Higashida
Yuki Yamada 4-2 Shota Oura
Yuta Hayashi 4-1 Katsuya Aiba
Morita Akihito 4-1 Toshiyuki Takeuchi
Osamu Niki 4-2 Shingo Enomata
Edward Shoji 4-0 Atsushi Honma
Seigo Asada 4-1 Showki Ino
Yuki Yamada 4-1 Yuta Hayashi
Morita Akihito 4-1 Osamu Niki
Edward Shoji 4-3 Seigo Asada
Morita Amihito 4-1 Yuta Hayashi
Edward Shoji 5-4 Morita Amihito
World Darts Championship
Known International Qualifiers (as of Monday October 12)
Danny Baggish – CDC American Series
Keane Barry – PDC Development Tour
Matt Campbell – CDC Canadian Series
David Evans – PDC Challenge Tour
Nico Kurz – German Super League
Daniel Larsson – PDC Nordic and Baltic
Danny Lauby – CDC Continental Cup
Gordon Mathers – DPA Pro Tour
Ryan Meikle – PDC Development Tour
Edward Shoji – PDJ Japanese Championship
Kim Viljanen – PDC Nordic and Baltic
(Featured Image: PDJ)