Suzuki soars in Sweden as Nilsson triumphs at home

Dennis Nilsson and Mikuru Suzuki were crowned the 2019 Swedish Open champions after an exciting day of action at the Scandic Triangeln hotel in Malmo.

Former strongman competitor Nilsson beat Wayne Warren 6-1 in the men’s singles final to win his fifth career BDO ranking title and secure a place at the World Masters in October.

‘Ironman’ saw off Belgium Open winner Nick Kenny, the Danish throwers Bendt Obling Nielsen and Niels Heinsoe, Ryan Hogarth and Ben Hazel to set up a semi-final with fellow Challenge Tour regular Dave Prins.

In a tight game that went right down to the wire, Nilsson hit a 15-darter against the throw to win 5-4. The big Swede then found another gear in the final, averaging 93.03 as he blew past his Welsh opponent to pick the 28,000 SEK top prize (£2400).

Warren, who won his first BDO title in seven years last weekend, took that form to Malmo as he beat the likes of Jitse van der Wal, Francis Carragher, Johan Engstrom, Mario Vandenbogaerde and then Richard Veenstra 5-3 in the semi-finals.

Top seed Wesley Harms went out in the round of 128 in the day’s first streamed match, losing 4-3 to eventual Nilsson victim Hazel.

Jeffrey de Graaf, who won this event back in 2013, made his return to the BDO tour in Malmo, losing in the last 64 to Belgian ace Vandenbogaerde.

Meanwhile, Andreas Harrysson extended his lead in the race to secure the Nordic & Scandinavian regional qualifying position for the 2020 World Championship. The 2018 Swedish Open finalist picked up 10 points for his run to the last 32, where he was beaten by Scotland’s Hogarth. With his nearest rivals failing to reach the point-scoring phases of the competition, he now leads by 12 points with just 14 left available.

Lorraine Winstanley had won four of the past six Swedish Open titles, including in 2017 and 2018, but she was eliminated in the last 16 as Suzuki became the first non-English winner of the competition since Irina Armstrong in 2011.

After seeing off the Lithuanian Algina Juknaite in the last 16, the Japanese star edged out Fallon Sherrock 4-3 in a preview of their opening-round clash at the World Trophy later this month.

The reigning world champion then beat Paula Jacklin in the semi-finals before defeating Lisa Ashton 5-3 in the final with an 81.03 average to win her fourth ranking title of 2019. For her efforts, Suzuki trousers 11,000 SEK (£930) and extends her head-to-head record over Ashton, who was playing in her second final in less than 24 hours.

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