PDC World Championship 2022/23 - 1

30 Years PDC World Championship - 30 years Dutch participants?
This year the PDC World Champion celebrates its 30. anniversary. Raymond van Barneveld as well celebrates a 30. anniversity - for the thirtieth time he takes part in a World Championship. It is poor chance it falls on the same date and to be sure the Dutchman doesn't take part for the thirtieth time in the PDC World Championship.

Raymond van Barneveld started his career in the BDO World Championship 1991 where he lost first round to Australian Keith Sullivan. He returned in 1993 losing this time in the second round to John Lowe who went on to win the tournament 6:3 against Alan Warriner. The following year van Barneveld missed the BDO World Championship again and the Netherlands were represented by Roland Scholten. From 1995 he took part every year till he switched to the PDC after he lost in the final of the BDO World Championship 2006 to Jelle Klaasen. His first title van Barneveld won in 1998 and he defeated in the final Richie Burnett against whom he had lost in the final 1995.

With this first win of Raymond van Barneveld in the BDO World Championship 1998 the darts boom in the Netherlands started. The sport bloomed and by this the number of Dutch participants in both World Championships grew.

The history of the PDC World Championship began in 1994 with the first World Championship after the split of the WDC players from the BDO. You can find them all still in the field of participants of the BDO World Championship 1993 though already at that time there was a lot of tension. The number of participants in this first World Championship 1994 was compared to today very small: only 24 participants, fourteen of them from England - including the reigning BDO World Champion John Lowe and the runner-up Alan Warriner - two Scottish players, one irishman and seven US Americans. The first few World Championships were played in a group-phase followed by the K.O. phase and there still a match for the third place was played.
1994 Dennis Priestley won the World Championship. He defeated Phil Taylor - who later dominated for many years - with 6:1. His average was 92.85 - not high compared to what the top players play today but at that time a solide average. The highest average in that first World Championship had by the way Peter Evison with 97.55.

Not much changed in the composition of the field of participants in the next few years, most of the participants were Englishman, the second biggest group were the US Americans. 1996 the first Canadian appeared with Gary Mawson and with the exception of 2016 every year at least one Canadian can be found in the field of participants. 1999 the format changed into K.O. throughout and for the first time some kind of "exotic" participant took part - Paul Lim who in this year for the first time no longer represented America but Singapor.

It took till 2000 before the first time a Dutchman qualified for a PDC World Championship - though when you look closely he was not really a Dutchman but a Spaniard who represented the Netherlands and lived there as well - Braulio Roncero. Roncero had been two years before among the participants of the BDO World Championship and he was part of the Dutch national team together with Raymond van Barneveld, Co Stompe and Roland Scholten. 1996 van Barneveld and Roncero stood in the final of the pairs event of the Europe Cup. Roncero only took part this one time in the PDC World Championship and never again in the BDO World Championship but several times in the World Masters and till 2010 from time to time in PDC Players Championships. He passed away in 2018.
Braulio Roncero lost in the first round of the PDC World Championship 2000 with 2:3 against Dennis Priestley, his average was 88.77. With this he easily would have kept up in many of this year's first round matches..

Not much is known about Roncero but one can find a Video on YouTube of his appearance in the BDO World Championship 1998. There he played first round against Bobby George and lost.

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