OB Qualifies For World Championship

Maria O'Brien made it back to back titles in the Italian city of Bologna to not only book a spot at the 2022 WDF World Championship, but also put her name amongst the eight seeded players.

The one time World Championship Semi Finalist still needed a few ranking points at the last qualification event of the year and only decided to attend last minute.

After being given the all clear to play from a recent injury by doctors, O'Brien raced across the country to make a plane at London Stanstead with the help of her sponsors Victory Inn, PPS Ltd, L-Style and Magic Wear.

O'Brien started day one in the Italian Grand Masters with a 4-0 win against local Danny Mattiacci before edging Natalie Gilbert 4-3, who is ranked 7th in the UK and Ireland WDF tables, in the last 16.

Riding her luck slightly, O'Brien then despatched two more locals, Chiara Sarnari and Talita Biagetti, 4-3 to reach her first final of the weekend.

Dutch starlet Priscilla Steenbergen, who had put out world number five Aileen De Graaf in earlier rounds, was her opponent.

However, O'Brien showed no nerves or mercy as she ran out a 5-1 winner to claim her first title of the weekend.

Day two was the Italian Open and saw O'Brien turn up the heat with impressive victories over local players Michela Spiga and Giulia Vernocchi by 4-0 and 4-1 respectively.

Suzanne Smith, who has recently qualified for her first World Championship as the eleventh ranked player in the world, was then swept aside 4-0 as O'Brien made it to the semis with ease.

The England International then defeated Hampshire County player Jo Rolls 4-2 to setup a second final of the weekend.

Another Dutch competitor, Aileen De Graaf, lay in wait after she herself put out Australian star Corinne Hammond 4-2 in the other semi.

An unsurprisingly tight affair between two of the best women in the world was won in a last leg decider 4-3 by the Plymouth based superstar to give her a second title and significant ranking points for her yearly total.

A remarkable performance considering the quick turnaround from a bad injury and the fact O'Brien was playing with prescribed pain killers.

The World Championship starts on the 1st January with the second round, in which O'Brien with enter the competition, not due to take place until at least the 3rd January.

That'll give the Business Development Manager time to rest up that injury before she starts her bid to be crowned champion of the world.

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