The 2022 World ParaDarts Winmau World Trophy took place last weekend (20th-22nd May) in Ostend, Belgium. Seven competitions were contested in all, with 89 players from 14 different countries taking part.
Belgium have long been one of the dominant forces in ParaDarts and that proved the case on home soil in Ostend as they produced winners in six of the seven categories.
In the Team Event, their A squad defeated surprise package France 9-1 in the final. France had pulled off a big shock to defeat The Netherlands in the last four but couldn’t repeat the trick against Belgium, who’d beaten Hungary in the other semi-final.
Two of the stars of that team, Serge van Belle and Vincent D’Hondt, were involved in two further finals during the weekend. The pair contested the Men’s Wheelchair Singles title decider, with D’Hondt edging out his compatriot in a last-leg decider 4-3. The losing semi-finalists were Northern Ireland’s Mark Couchman and Darren Kennish from the Isle of Man.
Those same four men were involved in the Men’s Wheelchair Pairs final, with D’Hondt picking up his third title of the weekend as he and van Belle won 4-3. Joint third in that event were two English pairs, Phil Lees & Amar Dehar and Ian Lewis & Kevin Stringer.
Evi Foulon joined his fellow Belgian D’Hondt in taking home three titles are taking top honours in both the Men’s Standing Singles and the Men’s Standing Pairs.
In the former, he defeated England’s Paul Gelder 4-1 in the final (Michelovic van Velzen and Hagen Stelter lost in the semi-finals), while in the latter he joined up with Kurt Vanderkerckhove to defeat the German tandem of Heiko Bohnhorst and Armin Wilhelm 4-2. Much like in the Wheelchair Pairs, the teams that came joint third in the Standing Pairs were both all-English, namely Paul Gelder & Michael Callaghan and Matt Doe & David Johnson.
Chloe Francq added to Belgium’s impressive title haul by defeating Dutch thrower Chanine Vriezen 2-1 in the Ladies Wheelchair Singles final.
The only title that Belgium did not win was the Ladies Standing Singles crown. After defeating America’s Lora Josey and Dutchwoman Therese Wierlaard in the semi-finals, German pair Bianka Stauch and Gabby Wehrt met in the final. In the end it was Wehrt who emerged victorious as she ran out a 3-1 winner.
World ParaDarts also presented four awards for ‘Services to Disability Darts’ to four people, the unsung heroes who have tirelessly worked behind the scenes for over seven years in their own countries and internationally. Without the work of these four people, disability darts and tournaments such as the World ParaDarts Winmau Trophy would not be possible. The recipients were: Marijke Zomer (The Netherlands), Thierry Gellinck (Belgium), Vincent D’Hondt (Belgium), Ricky Chilton (Wales).
All Photo Credit: Rocco Maes/World ParaDarts