Mindaugas Barauskas won his first ever tournament at the Nordic and Baltic Pro Tour last month, which has given him more confidence for the coming events.
For a handful of years Darius Labanauskas was the absolute best player from Lithuania on the Nordic and Baltic Pro Tour.
With him missing, due to the change of rules, the pressure suddenly was on the shoulders of Mindaugas Barauskas, who has represented Lithuania at the World Cup of Darts alongside Darius Labanauskas for some years.
And already at the second pro tour of the year, Mindaugas Barauskas showed that he can do exactly what Darius has done for years – as he won the event.
“It was a strange feeling. I could not believe it,” Mindaugas Barauskas tells pdc-nordic.tv.
The result has given the Lithuanian more confidence, and also a spot as number two on the Nordic and Baltic rankings at the moment.
“I believe I can win more. I have more confidence now. I will try to get the best possible result this year. The World Championship would be an absolute dream.”
The former European Tour combatant has been a part of the Nordic and Baltic Pro Tour for years, with a quarter-final as the best result. So how did the Lithunian manage to suddenly win an event?
“I have changed my grip and my throw, and that has made me believe I can do better. And then I train even more.”
Also a first for Tom Veje
Just as it was a first for Mindaugas Barauskas standing in the final, it was also a first for his opponent, the Dane Tom Veje.
The best result for the Dane on the Nordic and Baltic Pro Tour before that final, came the day before, as he reached the quarter-final of the first pro tour. So in short, it was a fairly good weekend for Tom Veje.
“I think it was a mixture of luck, a good level at the right times and then maybe the most important: since December I have started doing cardio. I am going to the gym preferably three times a week and now I also do cardio,” Tom Veje tells pdc-nordic.tv.
The Dane however knows, how big of a performance it was for him to reach a quarter-final and then a final at the two events.
“At Saturday I was already quite happy, as I played predominantly good and it got me my best result ever, as I reached the quarter-finals. It is a tough company. Especially the Swedes and Finns have some players, that are a bit, or more than a bit, ahead of the rest of us. I am never going into a tournament with a specific goal, but I want to play as close as I can to the level I know I have, even though it is difficult. But if I manage to, I can tease the best.”
Because of the results, Tom Veje is currently sitting in third place on the rankings, and that may be enough for him to reach his goal – and that is not Ally Pally, not yet anyway,
“My ambition is to play better darts every time I compete. But for sure a weekend like the one in Denmark gives you a greater desire. My hope or ambition was, and still is, to represent Denmark at the World Cup of Darts. At no point I have had the ambition to reach the top two on the Nordic and Baltic rankings, but if would be amazing for sure.”
Just as Mindaugas Barauskas, Tom Veje has been playing on our tour for quite a while. So how can it be, that he suddenly had such a good weekend as he did in Denmark?
“It is my second season at which I am playing a full PDC Nordic & Baltic season. Before that I played kind of sporadic, as I had to find out, if the tour was something I could see myself in. Good results are made out of a mixture of a good level, luck and timing. The reason why it went well i Denmark, was a mixture of luck and timing, and also a good draw. I am not training enough to have any ambitions about top results. I know that my top level is good enough to be amongst the very best, but my bottom level is far to low. I also work quite a lot with my mentality and my tension level, and sometimes that also works quite well for me.”
Both players will have the chance to get even more points for the rankings this weekend, as the tour goes to Gothenburg in Sweden, with two Pro Tour events and three European Qualifiers on the program.