Thibault Tricole wins qualifying tournament to become first ever Frenchman at World Darts Championship

Thibault Tricole has become the first Frenchman ever to qualify for the World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace. 'The French Touch' won over Wesley Plaisier in the final of the Western European qualifying tournament in Kalkar.

The French have begun to gain a foothold in the world of darts in recent years. Tricole reached the final of Lakeside in 2022, while his compatriot Jacques Labre made history this year by becoming the first French dart player to win a PDC Tour Card at the Q-School. A French participant at the PDC World Darts Championship has yet to appear, but that will change in December.

The qualifying tournament in Kalkar was open to players from Western European countries that were not in the top-64 of the PDC Order of Merit. A good number of Tour Card holders were eliminated at an early stage. Tony Martinez, Jurjen van der Velde, Luc Peters, Owen Roelofs, Jeffrey de Zwaan, Jose Justicia, Ronny Huybrechts, Jimmy Hendriks, Geert Nentjes, Rusty-Jake Rodriguez and Damian Mol did not make it past the last 64.

Tricole himself was also responsible for eliminating some familiar names. He defeated Brian Raman (6-5), Robbie Knops (6-3), Jelle Klaasen (6-3) and Danny van Trijp (6-5). Plaisier defeated Vincent van der Meer (6-4), Ryan de Vreede (6-4), Danny Jansen (6-5) and Stefan Bellmont (6-3), among others, to qualify for the final.

In the final, the pressure was on for both men. The level was not high, only three of the 11 legs were won in five innings or less. Plaisier started the match with a 15-darter, but then Tricole took four legs in a row thanks to a 16-darter, two 17-darters and a 20-darter. Plaisier brought the tension back by coming back to 4-3 and moments later threw a 12-darter in the ninth leg to make it 5-4. However, the Dutchman then recorded a poor leg of his own with four innings without trebles. Tricole was slightly more consistent in that one and threw himself to 6-4 with a 16-darter. Also in the eleventh leg, the Frenchman's trebles went a little better and he secured a starting spot for the World Darts Championship with a 17-darter.

Results PDC West Europe World Championship Qualifier 2023

Last 16

Maik Kuivenhoven 6-1 Philip van Gasse

Danny van Trijp 6-4 Jeroen Mioch

Thibault Tricole 6-3 Robbie Knops

Jelle Klaasen 6-2 Martijn Dragt

Wesley Plaisier 6-4 Ryan de Vreede

Danny Jansen 6-4 Dennie Olde Kalter

Mareno Michels 6-2 Mario Schmelcher

Stefan Bellmont 6-1 Ricky de Vos


Danny van Trijp 6-3 Maik Kuivenhoven

Thibault Tricole 6-3 Jelle Klaasen

Wesley Plaisier 6-5 Danny Jansen

Stefan Bellmont 6-4 Mareno Michels


Thibault Tricole 6-5 Danny van Trijp

Wesley Plaisier 6-3 Stefan Bellmont


Thibault Tricole 7-4 Wesley Plaisier

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