With a crack against Michael Van Gerwin, Dimitri van den Berg begins the second stage of his darts in the Premier League today. Many thousands of Flemish eyes will probably watch, because the success of “Dancing Dimi” has increased the popularity of darts with us to unprecedented levels. “The Belgians have the momentum with them,” says former slave Eric Clarisse.
“Van den Bergh is in good shape, but everything is close together in PL”
Things are going fast for Dimitri van den Berg. Last year he broke through his relationship with the general public, and this year he started – in part due to cruciate ligament surgery – with much suspicion, but in recent weeks he has made a comeback in the prestigious Premier League. 2021 appears to be the year of emphasizing the Belgian dart stopper.
“He has proven himself at the absolute top,” said Belgian darts pioneer Eric Clarisse. “Being top of the Premier League as a rookie is a penalty. He got lucky sometimes, but he forced himself into that luck. Although the level is very close to each other. So it is impossible to say which four players will play the play-offs.”
Van den Berg is of course in good shape, because fifth in the standings follows him with three points and he will already have to win two more games than him. A lot will depend on his first match against Van Gerwin. They tied 6-6 in the first round. If he can at least equal that, Van den Berg will take a big step into the play-offs.”
Van den Bergh concluded the first stage of the PL as the leader (co) in the competition.
“In Belgium we have always been keen to get there”
For years, darts in Belgium seemed like a sport on the sidelines, but Van den Berg’s best performance has breathed new life into darts recently. Clarisse was one of Van den Berg’s predecessors in the 1990s, but he experienced from the first grade how poorly organized sport in Belgium limited opportunities for local darts talent.
“When I started at the end of the 1980s, the level in Belgium was very high,” he says. “Maybe the Belgian arrows circuit was more appreciated at the international level, for example, the Dutch circuit. But in the mid-1990s, our northern neighbors underwent a sudden transformation due to the tremendous success they had Raymond Van Barneveld”.
Darts legend Van Barneveld caused quite a stir around darts in the Netherlands at the end of the 1990s.
It was an incredible start bubble In Dutch Darts: training and structure became more professional and gradually many new talents appeared. Meanwhile, the Netherlands is the country of archer outside the United Kingdom. In Belgium, on the other hand, we were always keen to get there,” says Clarisse.
“There was little or no organization here, there was no guidance for the big players and above all: there was no work for young people. Then I ran after the facts. Almost nothing has changed today. There is no overall union and there is no vision.”
“It’s now or not darts in Belgium”
Because of the success of Van den Bergh, it seems that the economic downturn in our country is gradually coming to an end. Will Belgium soon follow the example of its neighbors from the Netherlands, and will our country become a country of archers?
“Anyway, the Belgians have the momentum with them. Players like Van den Berg and Kim Hebrechts have put their arrows on the map here. Let’s not forget that Huybrechts paved the way for Van den Berg. Without Kim, Dimitri was at the time. The switch from BDO to BDO probably wouldn’t have happened anyway. The most powerful PDC.”
Let’s not forget that Kim Huybrechts helped pave the way for Van den Bergh.
Clarisse notes: “The Van den Bergh results have recently taken popularity here to unprecedented levels. Something has begun and we hope it will continue to grow. Van den Bergh could create the Van Barneveld effect in Belgium.”
“The conditions for darts today are very attractive, both financially and in terms of media interest. Young players in our country are being inspired to follow in the footsteps of Van den Bergh or Huybrechts. It is now or never. If we do not take steps in the coming years, perhaps the momentum will be It’s gone forever.”