Tuesday 13 November 2018

An all-Dutch classic at the PDC World Championship had figures from all sports loving the darts

Magic darts.

Raymond van Barneveld (left) reacts during the PDC World Championship
Raymond van Barneveld (left) reacts during the PDC World Championship

By Max McLean

Darts might just be one of the most absorbing sports in the world, and if that doesn’t sound right to you, perhaps athletes and officials from the world of hockey, football, rugby and snooker might change your mind.

This time around it was an all-Dutch quarter-final at the PDC World Championship between reigning world champion Michael van Gerwen and five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld that had viewers enthralled.

The match was slow to get going, but quickly hit its stride when, in the best-of-nine-sets game, the score was tied at 3-3. The fans were on the edge of their seats.

The two competitors matched one another stride for stride, with the outcome to be decided by a final set.

Good darts all round, the spectators agreed.

Athletes and sporting figures were also enthralled. Samantha Quek, who won gold at the 2016 Olympic Games with the Great Britain women’s hockey team, quickly became a fan.

Meanwhile figures from rugby league, football, and even snooker referee Jan Verhaas were watching closely.

In the end it was van Gerwen who held on for victory, reaching the semi-final of the competition where he will meet Englishman Rob Cross.

And while the fans loved watching, it was good to see the two competitors recognising one another’s achievements afterwards.

You’ve got to love the darts, haven’t you?

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