The legendary Paul Lim will make his 23rd World Championship appearance after sealing his qualification to the Alexandra Palace via the PDC Asian Tour on Saturday.
The 64-year-old, who incredibly made his World Championship debut way back in 1982, defeated Alexis Toylo 5-2 to reach the semi-finals of the penultimate Asian Tour event of the year, confirming his spot at the Alexandra Palace.
‘The Singapore Slinger’ was indebted to Japanese World Cup star Seigo Asada. Originally only the top four on the Asian Order of Merit were guaranteed World Championship qualification, but Asada- ranked second, won the Japanese qualifier which freed up another spot.
Lim was beaten in the semi-finals of the event by eventual winner Lourence Ilagan, but the Singapore veteran went one better in Sunday’s final tournament of the season – losing in the final to the imperious Noel Malicdem.
Malicdem averaged 110.50 to dismantle Ryan Ocampo in the last 16, before defeating Christian Perez 5-3 with a 108.40 average to seal his spot in the final. This set up a showdown with Lim, where Malicdem prevailed 5-2 with a 99.70 average; sealing the title with an impressive tournament average of 95.
Nevertheless, Lim’s return to the Alexandra Palace stage will delight darting fans around the world. The Singapore star memorably defeated Mark Webster 3-2 in the opening-round of last year’s tournament, before missing D12 for a nine-darter during his second-round defeat to Gary Anderson.
Lim was famously the first player to hit a perfect nine-dart finish at a World Championship, as he completed the feat at the Lakeside against Jack McKenna in 1990. The veteran pocketed £52,000 for his 9-darter, which was £28,000 more than Phil Taylor won for winning the tournament!
The 64-year-old has enjoyed incredible longevity in the game and has played a starring role for Singapore at the World Cup of Darts in recent years. He led them to the quarter-finals in 2017 and claimed a famous win over world champion Rob Cross at this year’s event in Frankfurt.
Lim- making his 11th PDC World Championship appearance in 2019, will be joined at the Alexandra Palace by Malicdem, Ilagan and Hong Kong’s Royden Lam. The introduction of 24 further qualifiers sees the field increase to 96 competitors, which will also include two female qualifiers.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC