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Former world darts champion Michael van Gerwen withdraws after positive Covid test


Michael van Gerwen, competing in Brisbane in 2019, has had to withdraw from the World Darts Championships after testing positive for Covid-19.

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Michael van Gerwen, competing in Brisbane in 2019, has had to withdraw from the World Darts Championships after testing positive for Covid-19.

Three-time winner Michael van Gerwen has had to pull out of the World Darts Championships with Covid-19.

The 32-year-old – world champion in 2014, 2017 and 2019, joins compatriots Vincent Van Der Voort and Raymond Van Barneveld on the sidelines after all three returned positive tests.

Van Gerwen spent Christmas Day with his fellow Dutchmen in London where the World Darts Championships are underway at the Alexandra Palace venue.

A statement from the PDC read: “‘Michael Van Gerwen has withdrawn from the William Hill World Darts Championship after testing positive for Covid-19 ahead of his [second round] match with Chris Dobey.

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Gerwyn Price of Wales poses with the Sid Waddell Trophy after winning the 2021 PDC world darts title at Alexandra Palace.

Luke Walker/Getty Images

Gerwyn Price of Wales poses with the Sid Waddell Trophy after winning the 2021 PDC world darts title at Alexandra Palace.

“Dobey will receive a bye to the last 16 and Tuesday evening’s session will continue with two matches.”

Betting agencies have voided all outright bets on van Gerwen.

Van Barneveld’s positive test was confirmed just hours after he crashed out of the tournament in a second round defeat to 2018 winner Rob Cross.

Defending champion Gerwyn Price greeted his Dutch rivals’ withdrawal with disappointment.

“Now this tournament in devalued,” the Welshman said on social media.

“I’d rather play the best to be the best. Absolutely feel sick for these players having to pull out because of Covid.”

Price will meet another Dutchman, Dirk van Duijvenbode, in the last-16 after surviving a 4-3 scare against Belgium’s Kim Huybrechts in the third round.

Price held his neve to win the last set after Huybrechts had earlier missed eight doubles across three legs.

“That was tough; Kim was tough and the crowd were tough,” Price said on the PDC World Darts website.

“It was a nip and tuck game, thankfully that double top went in at the end.

“I’m never out until the last dart goes in, I stuck in right to the end when I was under a lot of pressure. When that type of game happens, I come out on top.”

Van Duijvenbode beat England’s Ross Smith 4-3.

Other third round winners included Ryan Searle (England), Martijn Kleermaker (Netherlands) and Jonny Clayton (Wales).



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