Darts: Kiwi prodigy Tahuna Irwin qualifies for World Championships

Tahuna Irwin.
Tahuna Irwin. Photo credit: PDC

Just days after qualifying for the Auckland Darts Masters, Tahuna Irwin has now booked his spot at the biggest tournament in the sport. 

The 21-year-old will fly the New Zealand flag at the Professional Darts Cooperation (PDC) World Darts Championships at the Alexandra Palace in December. 

The Gisborne product beat Craig Ross 7-2 to win the Dart Players New Zealand (DPNZ) Qualifier in Invercargill on Friday. 

It was a massive moment for Irwin who missed out on a place in last year’s tournament when he lost to fellow Kiwi Bernie Smith in the Oceanic Masters final. 

“I’m speechless," said Irwin afterwards. "It's massive for me."

Irwin was one of 16 Kiwis named for the qualifier which initially saw players split into four groups of four, before the top two progressed to a second group stage.

The North Islander defeated John Hurring and Paul Harper in the first group stage before losing out 4-3 to Haupai Puha to finish second in his group. He then overcame Darren Herewini, Mark McGrath and Craig Ross in the second group stage.

Irwin saw off Mike Day in the semi-finals, and claimed his World Championship place by beating Ross in the final.

Irwin will be the 12th Kiwi to represent New Zealand at the World Champs, joining Cody Harris, Warren Parry, Mark McGrath, Rob Szabo, Craig Caldwell, Koha Kokiri, Dave Harrington, Warren French, Preston Ridd, Phillip Hazel and Alan Bolton to have done so in the past. 

The 2018/2019 World Darts Championship will take place from December 14-January 2 (NZ time) in London. 

It ends a magical week for Irwin who qualified for the Auckland Darts Masters on Monday. 

It will be his first televised darts tournament where he will face one of the best in the world. 

The Masters takes place at the Trusts Arena from August 3-5. 

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