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Luke Littler: Teenager qualifies for Belgian Darts Open after success in Wigan

Teenage sensation Luke Littler qualifies for Belgian Darts Open and he will now attempt to qualify for the German Darts Grand Prix; watch the Premier League Darts every Thursday night up until the Play-Offs at London's O2 on Thursday, May 23 - live on Sky Sports

Luke Littler celebrates victory in the semi-final against Rob Cross on day fifteen of the Paddy Power World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace, London. Picture date: Tuesday January 2, 2024.
Image: Luke Littler did enough for the first European Tour event of 2024 to qualify for the Belgian Darts Open but he failed in his attempt to make the German Darts Grand Prix

Luke Littler continued his red-hot streak by making it through the first European Tour Card Holder Qualifier of 2024 in Wigan on Wednesday to secure a place in the Belgian Darts Open.

Littler started the day on a revenge mission over Polish-Irish bus driver Radek Szaganski, who shocked the 17-year-old at Players Championship 2 on Tuesday.

The World Championship finalist sealed a whitewash 6-0 victory at Wigan's Robin Park Tennis Centre, before going on to defeat veteran Mervyn King 6-3 and Dutchman Maik Kuivenhoven in a last-leg decider to make the top 10.

That was enough to see him qualify for the Belgian Darts Open alongside top seed Mike De Decker and Luke Woodhouse.

However, Littler failed in his attempt to qualify for the German Darts Grand Prix in the second European Tour Card Holder Qualifier (ET2) after losing in a last-leg shootout to Welshman Jim Williams in the top 40.

Ten players will come through each Tour Card Holder Qualifier, while the 48-player fields on the European Tour will feature four Host Nation Qualifiers, a Nordic & Baltic Qualifier and an East Europe Qualifier.

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Littler came agonisingly close to hitting his second nine-darter on his Players Championship debut in Wigan

The 2024 PDC European Tour will again see 13 tournaments held throughout 2024 - including a first event in Switzerland - as Basel hosts the sport's top stars in September.

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The Belgian Darts Open will mark the start of this year's European Tour action, as 48 players battle it out at the Oktoberhallen in Wieze from March 8-10.

This will be followed by the German Darts Grand Prix in Munich from March 30-April 1, as 2023 world champion Michael Smith bids to retain his crown.

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Speaking on Love The Darts, Polly James and Richard Ashdown look ahead to Night 3 of the Premier League in Glasgow

How does the European Tour qualifying format work?

In a change to the qualifying format from previous years, the top 16 players from the PDC Order of Merit will now qualify by right for each event.

They will be joined by the top 16 non-qualified players from the ProTour Order of Merit at the entry deadline.

Each event will see the top 16 players from the ProTour Order of Merit seeded for the draw, entering in the second round, with the remaining 32 players drawn at random in the first round.

Invited players who are exempted to the last 32 and lose in their first match of the event shall not be credited with prize money on the Order of Merit, ProTour Order of Merit or European Tour Order of Merit, however, they shall still receive full prize money payment.

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Littler insists he will enjoy mooted celebrations after winning on his Players Championship debut

Belgian Darts Open (ET1)
Oktoberhallen, Wieze

March 8-10 2024
PDC Order of Merit Qualifiers

Luke Humphries
Michael van Gerwen
Michael Smith
Nathan Aspinall
Gerwyn Price
Rob Cross
Danny Noppert
Peter Wright
Jonny Clayton
Dave Chisnall
Damon Heta
Joe Cullen
Dirk van Duijvenbode
Dimitri Van den Bergh
Chris Dobey
Stephen Bunting

ProTour Order of Merit Qualifiers
Josh Rock
Ross Smith
Krzysztof Ratajski
Gary Anderson
Ryan Searle
Ricardo Pietreczko
Martin Schindler
Andrew Gilding
Daryl Gurney
James Wade
Gian van Veen
Ryan Joyce
Gabriel Clemens
Jose de Sousa
Brendan Dolan
Raymond van Barneveld

ET1 Seeded Players
1. Dave Chisnall
2. Luke Humphries
3. Gerwyn Price
4. Damon Heta
5. Dirk van Duijvenbode
6. Josh Rock
7. Rob Cross
8. Michael van Gerwen
9. Jonny Clayton
10. Danny Noppert
11. Michael Smith
12. Ross Smith
13. Krzysztof Ratajski
14. Gary Anderson
15. Ryan Searle
16. Ricardo Pietreczko

ET1 Tour Card Holder Qualifiers: Mike De Decker, Luke Woodhouse, Lukas Wenig, Jermaine Wattimena, James Hurrell, Richard Veenstra, Daniel Klose, Luke Littler, Berry van Peer, Chris Landman.

Where does the Premier League head next?

Michael Van Gerwen celebrates with the trophy after winning against Gerwyn Price in the final during the Cazoo Premier League Play-Offs. Photo credit should read: Steven Paston/PDC ..RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only, no commercial use without prior consent from rights holder.
Image: Michael van Gerwen is the seven-time Premier League champion

Premier League Darts now heads to the OVO Hydro in Glasgow on Thursday night.

Van Gerwen takes on Scottish No 1 Wright, while Littler faces Price, Humphries meets Aspinall and Cross and Smith lock horns in the opening match of the night.

Fixtures: Night Three, OVO Hydro, Glasgow, Thursday February 15

Rob Cross vs Michael Smith
Michael van Gerwen vs Peter Wright
Nathan Aspinall vs Luke Humphries
Gerwyn Price vs Luke Littler

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Premier League Darts continues on Sky Sports on Thursday February 15 with Glasgow the next stop on the 17-week extravaganza all the way through to the Play-Offs at the O2 Arena in London on Thursday May 23. Stream Sky Sports Darts without a contract through NOW

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