Three-time women’s world champion Anastasia Dobromyslova joins the likes of Lisa Ashton and Deta Hedman in confirming her entry to 2019 PDC Qualifying School, which gets underway at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan on Thursday.
Dobromyslova’s bid for a fourth World Championship title came to an end in the semi-finals at the Lakeside, as she was beaten by her practice partner and close friend Lorraine Winstanley. The Russian also competed in the recent PDC World Championship, where she was beaten 3-0 by eventual quarter-finalist Ryan Joyce in her opener.
The 34-year-old competed regularly on the PDC circuit between 2008 and 2009, featuring in the Grand Slam of Darts for two consecutive years, beating Vincent van der Voort in the 2009 event. She also competed in the 2009 PDC World Championship, losing out to Dutchman Remco van Eijden in the preliminary round.
She’ll be joined at Q-School by four-time women’s world champion Lisa Ashton, who also featured at last month’s PDC World Championship. ‘The Lancashire Rose’ took on Jan Dekker and made a blistering start, clinching the opening set with a 107 average. However, Dekker fought back and condemned the 48-year-old to a 3-1 defeat.
Ashton was bidding to win a fifth BDO World Championship crown in six years this year, but her title defence was curtailed on the opening afternoon at Frimley Green, as she was beaten 2-0 by eventual champion Mikuru Suzuki.
Ashton has previously competed on the PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour circuit, where she reached one quarter-final, while she claimed nine tournament wins during 2018 as she continued her stunning success on the women’s circuit.
Elsewhere, the legendary Deta Hedman will also be vying for a Tour Card in Wigan. ‘The Heart of Darts’ has won over 130 ranking titles throughout an astonishing career, whilst she also featured in three UK Opens during her time on the PDC circuit.
Hedman became the first female player to defeat a male player in a televised major at the 2005 UK Open, defeating both Aaron Turner and Norman Fletcher before losing out in the last 64. The 59-year-old also competed in the inaugural PDC Women’s World Darts Championship in 2010, before succumbing to Fiona Carmichael in the quarter-finals.
Other high-profile female stars to have entered Q-School include former World Championship finalists Fallon Sherrock and Corrine Hammond, with former World Masters runner-up Rachel Brooks also among the entrants.
The women’s game has gone from strength-to-strength over recent years, with Mikuru Suzuki’s sensational Lakeside triumph demonstrating the globalisation of the ladies game. Suzuki became the first Asian female to compete at the BDO World Championship, and her average of 90.12 in her victory over Lorraine Winstanley was a record for a women’s world final.
There were over 250 entrants for the respective women’s qualifiers for the PDC World Championship, while there are already over 300 entries for UK Qualifying School, including BDO world finalists Glen Durrant and Scott Waites. Former world champions John Part and Richie Burnett are also vying to regain their Tour Cards, with entries closing at 2:00pm this Tuesday.
Photo Credit: BDO/David Gill Media