WATCH: World Cup of Darts - Five biggest shocks ahead of Hamburg 2019
The 2019 World Cup of Darts gets underway from 6pm on Thursday, live on Sky Sports Action
By Josh Gorton
Last Updated: 04/06/19 1:41pm
The World Cup of Darts is notoriously a tournament that provides plenty of drama and shocks - and this year promises to be no different.
Michael van Gerwen and debutant Jermaine Wattimena bid to secure a third successive World Cup title for the Netherlands, whilst a new-look England pair of Rob Cross and Michael Smith enter the tournament as top seeds.
The ninth staging of the World Cup gets underway in Hamburg on Thursday, and ahead of the event, we reflect on five of the biggest upsets in World Cup history...
England humbled by Spain (2010)
The inaugural staging of the World Cup of Darts served up one of the biggest upsets in darting history, as the Spanish pairing of Toni Alcinas and Carlos Rodriguez dumped out England's Phil Taylor and James Wade.
Taylor and Wade were ranked No 1 and No 2 in the world respectively, and were the overwhelming pre-tournament favourites, but Rodriguez and Alcinas produced an inspired display to progress; averaging 107.31 to secure a pulsating last-leg triumph.
England led 4-2 but the Spaniards rallied to force a last-leg shootout before Alcinas and Rodriguez both crashed in maximums in a remarkable decider to prevail in 11 darts. Spain went on to reach the semi-finals, before their fairy-tale run was ended by eventual winners the Netherlands.
Singapore shock Scotland (2017)
Top seeds Scotland were sensationally eliminated by Singapore on the opening night of the 2017 World Cup of Darts, as Paul Lim rolled back the years in sublime style.
Lim, who famously hit the first ever World Championship nine-darter in 1990, paired up with his namesake Harith Lim to stun the highly-fancied Scottish pairing of Gary Anderson and Peter Wright in Frankfurt.
Singapore opened up an early 3-1 advantage, before spurning five darts at double for a 4-1 cushion. This saw the Scots reduce the arrears to 3-2, but they squandered opportunities to level in leg six, before the 63-year-old Paul Lim took out 100 on tops to seal a memorable 5-2 win.
Dutch disaster (2013)
Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld teamed up at the World Cup of Darts for the first time in 2013, but it ended in disaster for the Dutch duo.
They appeared to be cruising through to the quarter-finals after opening up an early 2-0 lead over Finland, but Jarko Komula and Jani Haavisto responded by winning four of the next five legs to claim a shock 4-3 lead.
Van Gerwen had the opportunity to force a decider but wasted three clear darts at double and the nerveless Komula sank double 10 to wrap up a famous victory. This remains the only year to date where the Netherlands have failed to reach at least the semi-finals.
South Africa stun the Scots (2012)
South Africa have produced plenty of World Cup upsets since the tournament's inception, but one of their finest victories came in 2012, when they edged out Scotland in a sudden-death thriller.
Devon Petersen and Shaun Hogan lost their respective singles matches against Peter Wright and Gary Anderson, but in the doubles tie worth two points, they produced a spirited display to record a 5-3 success and force a sudden-death decider.
Petersen won the bullseye for South Africa and the underdogs survived two match darts in a dramatic conclusion, which saw Hogan pin double six to send the Scots packing.
Hong Kong heroics (2015)
Hong Kong's Ting Chi Royden Lam and Scott MacKenzie caused one of the biggest shocks of the 2015 tournament as they dumped out Welsh duo Mark Webster and Jamie Lewis in round one.
Webster, who led Wales to the World Cup final in 2010, took out finishes of 72 and 95 to give his nation the early initiative - but Hong Kong won four of the next five legs to claim an unlikely victory - with Lam taking out an eye-catching 131 kill in leg six.
Hong Kong's giant-killing run continued as they dumped out the Republic of Ireland to reach the last eight, with MacKenzie memorably defying his battle with dartitis to sink a sensational 86 checkout in a last-leg thriller.
The World Cup of Darts takes place at the Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg from June 6-9. You can also stay up-to-date with all the action by following us @SkySportsDarts and get all the latest news, previews and interviews www.skysports.com/darts