FORGOTTEN DARTERS: 'The Flying Fin' Marko Pusa who quickly disappeared
In this column we regularly reminisce about a 'forgotten darter' from the past. Today it is the turn of the Finn, Marko Pusa, who immediately reached the quarter-finals on his World Cup debut in 2001, but also quickly disappeared.
Pusa first made his mark in 1999, when he reached the semi-finals of the Winmau World Masters at the age of 22.
After victories against Steve Beaton and Andy Jenkins, among others, he lost out to Wayne Jones. A year later he reached the final of a ranking tournament for the first time. In the finals of the Finnish Open, however he lost out to Mervyn King.
World Championship debut but with a negative record
His excellent performance on the BDO tour allowed him to make his debut at the 2001 World Cup in the Lakeside Country Club. In the first round he immediately caused a big shock by winning 3-2 against Colin Monk after a true thriller.
In the second round he showed again what he was capable of, with an average of over one hundred as he easily dealt with the Englishman Jez Porter.
In the quarterfinals, however, Pusa set a negative record. Not only did he go down 5-0 against the later world champion John Walton, he also lost no less than fourteen legs in a row, a 'record' to this day.
The Finn took to the positive side of that World Championship and later that year won his first of a total of two ranking titles in the Norway Open, in the final he beat Kevin Painter. In 2002 he made his second and his last appearance at the BDO World Championship. After a victory in the first round against Matt Clark, he again lost out to the eventual champion, Tony David.
Finnish Open latest feat
We heard less and less about Pusa in the years that followed, until he surfaced again in 2005 by winning the Finnish Open, where he saw off Mervyn King in the final. It was the last major achievement of Pusa, who played the last ranking tournament of his career in the Finnish Open in 2007. So at the age of 30, 'The Flying Finn' remained permanently on the ground.