(INTERVIEW) Raman on closing in on Lakeside dream: "It's great that dream is now coming true"
Brian Raman was particularly successful last weekend with a win in the England Open and a place in the England National Singles final. The 24-year-old Belgian is currently in first place in the WDF (World Darts Federation) ranking.
Raman defeated Englishman Ian Jones 6-2 in the England Open final, narrowly lost 5-4 to Northern Irishman Neil Duff in the England National Singles final.
“I was not expecting this at all. I had already reached at least one quarterfinal in advance. I went to collect points before going further in the WDF ranking," Raman told Dartsnews.com.
For Raman it was the first time in a long time that he could play in such a big tournament. “Fantastic huh! It seemed as if there was no corona.”
Focus on WDF
Raman is now first in the WDF ranking, already 82 points ahead of runner-up Wayne Warren. “Now that I have this position, I definitely want to play the WDF World Championship as the top-4 player in the ranking. There are (unfortunately) no more PDC tournaments for me this year, so my focus is completely on the WDF tournaments. My next tournaments are the Denmark Open and Denmark Masters where I will try to defend my title. The British Open is also on the schedule and from there I will see which ones may follow.”
After the BDO (British Darts Organisation) dissolved, the WDF is now taking over and hosting the World Championship at the renowned Lakeside Country Club in Frimley Green. “As a little boy when I started playing darts, my biggest dream was to be at Lakeside one day. I didn't know the PDC then either, so Lakeside was the most important tournament for me. It's great that dream is now coming true."
Raman also competed on the PDC Challenge Tour this year, finishing in 31st place. “This year was very different from previous years as the tournaments were split between Europe and the UK due to corona. That's why it felt more like a local tournament to me, I missed that real experience anyway. Because of this I didn't get my best game there, with only one semi-final as the best result.”
Nevertheless, the Belgian has not yet given up hope of one day being active full-time in the PDC. “The ultimate dream is of course to play the Pro Tour. At the moment, however, I am first focusing on the WDF World Championship in early January and after that I will participate in Q-School. From there, we will revisit where the roads lead.”
In addition to darts, Raman has his hands more than full. “I still work in addition to darts, namely as a full-time father! I am away so often for darts that I want to enjoy the rest of the time with my children, because they grow up very quickly!”
Finally, we wanted to know whether the increasing popularity of darts in Belgium also has a favorable influence on his sponsorship contracts.
“My sponsors are from abroad, so to be honest I wouldn't know. But the media attention is always positive, of course, this will bring more new players, so that the darts in Belgium can only grow," concludes Raman.