Baalmans, Pauling, and Szoták win youth titles

In the youth categories, Ruben Baalmans, Paige Pauling, and Balázs Szoták claimed victories. The talents respectively emerged as the best in the boys’, girls’, and aspirants’ tournaments.

Baalmans defeats compatriot Beukema
The junior final was dominated by the Dutch. Cor Beukema and Ruben Baalmans, both just out of the aspirant age group, battled for the title, with the absence of English youth in the final. Beukema scored better and took a 1-0 lead. A composed Baalmans leveled the score to 1-1 and even had the chance to take the lead.

However, he couldn’t capitalize. Beukema equalized and threw 84 with two darts (2-1). Baalmans fought back into the game. Both boys hit a 180, but Baalmans secured the leg. Shortly after, the Groninger hit the bullseye for a 78 finish, taking a 3-2 lead. Baalmans remained cool, survived Beukema’s break chances, and hit double 1 for the title.

Convincing victory for Pauling
In the girls’ final, Paige Pauling was the clear favorite. She faced German Kira Mertens, who surprised in the semifinals by defeating last year’s winner, Sophie McKinlay.

The final between Pauling and Mertens was one-sided. The English player aimed swiftly towards the doubles. Despite some double trouble, she won 3-0.

Szoták denies comeback
In the aspirants (under 14) category, two surprising names reached the final. 12-year-old Onni Pennanen from Finland and 13-year-old Balázs Szoták from Hungary competed. Particularly, Pennanen was surprisingly strong in reaching the final. In the semifinal, Pennanen even averaged 78.08.

In the final, the Finn played less consistently, allowing Szoták to step in. In the first leg, the Finn missed 6 darts for the leg. Soon, the Hungarian took a 2-0 lead. The young Finn hit 25 to win his own leg (2-1), but saw Szoták gaining more confidence on stage. Until the doubles, that is. The Hungarian missed dart after dart for the match. Crowd favorite Pennanen equalized via double 8. However, the final leg went to the Hungarian: he hit 54 to win the match. Szoták emerged victorious with a 3-2 score.

Text: DartsActueel

Dutch Open Darts Assen zondag

Foto: Bas van den Berk

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