Jamie Lewis defeated current world champion Peter Wright en route to making the semi-finals in 2018; the Welshman was one of six players to secure their spots from Monday’s Qualifiers at the Ricoh Arena.
By Josh Gorton
Last Updated: 30/11/20 6:08pm
Former World Championship semi-finalist Jamie Lewis secured his Alexandra Palace return in Monday’s Tour Card Holder Qualifiers, as debutants Nick Kenny and Niels Zonneveld were joined by Matthew Edgar, Ciaran Teehan and Karel Sedlacek in sealing their qualification.
Lewis headlined the list of six qualifiers that came through a dramatic afternoon of darting action at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena, which also saw several established names denied a spot at next month’s flagship event.
‘Fireball’ was joined by Kenny, Edgar and Teehan in coming through the UK Qualifier, whilst Czech Republic star Sedlacek and emerging Dutchman Zonneveld triumphed in the Rest of the World Qualifier.
It’s been a tumultuous period for Lewis, who revealed in October that he’d been suffering with anxiety disorder – following a nightmare outing at a European Tour event that saw him average 57 in a 6-0 loss.
World Darts Championship Qualifiers
|UK Qualifier – Last Eight||Ciaran Teehan 7-6 Joe Murnan|
|Jamie Lewis 7-5 Robert Thornton|
|Matthew Edgar 7-2 Josh Payne|
|Nick Kenny 7-6 James Wilson|
|ROW Qualifier – Last Four||Niels Zonneveld 7-4 Martin Schindler|
|Karel Sedlacek 7-2 Jan Dekker|
Less than three years ago, he stunned Peter Wright with a virtuoso display in the capital before his fairy tale run was curtailed by the retiring Phil Taylor in the semi-finals, and he’s since slipped to 63rd on the PDC Order of Merit.
However, the 29-year-old displayed tremendous character to emerge through today’s qualifier, following up successive 6-2 wins over Alan Tabern and David Pallett by battling past Thornton in a gruelling affair.
Lewis’ fellow countryman Kenny also qualified in dramatic fashion, to cap his first year on the PDC circuit with an Alexandra Palace debut.
The 27-year-old followed up a deciding-leg win over Steve Brown by overcoming Ted Evetts, before recovering from 4-1 down to defeat former BDO No 1 James Wilson in a dramatic last-leg shootout, where he survived a match dart.
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Edgar defeated the trio of Gary Blades, Martin Atkins and Josh Payne to secure a spot in his third consecutive PDC World Championship, coming through a decider against Atkins before dispatching former World Youth finalist Payne 7-2.
Teehan – who impressed on his tournament bow 12 months ago – posted consecutive 98 averages in his final three matches, although he survived a match dart in his opener against former UK Open runner-up Barrie Bates.
The 21-year-old breezed past Michael Barnard and Mark McGeeney for the cumulative loss of three legs, before edging out Joe Murnan in another contest that went the distance, as he sealed the deal inside 13 darts.
Sedlacek will make his second World Championship appearance after relinquishing four legs in the Rest of the World Qualifier – following up a whitewash win over Rowby-John Rodriguez with dominant displays against Dutch duo Benito van de Pas and Jan Dekker.
He was joined in qualifying by Niels Zonneveld – who stunned James Wade at this weekend’s Players Championship Finals. The Dutchman overcame Krzysztof Kciuk, 2006 BDO world champion Jelle Klaasen and former World Cup quarter-finalist Martin Schindler to confirm his debut.
Klaasen was one of several high-profile names to fall short in Monday’s qualifier. The 2016 semi-finalist was denied a place at Ally Pally for the second time in his PDC career, with compatriot Van de Pas also failing to make the cut.
Darren Webster was ranked 13th on the PDC Order of Merit in January last year, but despite being top seed in the UK Qualifier, he was dumped out in his opener alongside 2008 World Championship finalist Kirk Shepherd.
Shepherd was beaten by former UK Open and World Grand Prix champion Thornton, who will relinquish his PDC Tour Card after failing to qualify for the World Championship for the first time in his PDC career.
Elsewhere, Paul Lim and Toru Suzuki won the final PDC Asian Tour Qualifiers over the weekend, to confirm their spots at next month’s extravaganza.
Having debuted in 1982, 66-year-old Lim will compete in his 24th World Championship next month after prevailing in Sunday’s Hong Kong Qualifier, whilst Suzuki claimed the spoils in the Japanese Qualifier.
Following Monday’s action, the 96-player field for the World Championship is now complete and the draw for the tournament is due to take place at 9:30am on Thursday December 3, live on Sky Sports News.
You won’t miss a dart this Christmas thanks to the dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel which returns from December 15 until January 3 for every session from the World Darts Championship as Peter Wright defends the Sid Waddell Trophy