Covid knocks Michael van Gerwen out of PDC World Darts Championship
Michael van Gerwen, the 32-year-old three-time world darts champion from the Netherlands, has been beaten by Covid. As a result, he has had to withdraw from this year’s William Hill PDC World Darts Championship. This is obviously a massive blow to the prestigious, televised tournament that is held annually at the Alexandra Palace in London.
The Dutchman tested positive today, Tuesday, December 28, just one day after his best friend, and fellow countryman, Vincent van der Voort, had to drop out, for the same reason. Both players had reportedly spent time together at their manager’s home on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Van Gerwen’s positive came during testing just a few hours prior to his third-round match today against Chris ‘Hollywood’ Dobey. Under UK health rules, he will now have to go into quarantine, and the prospect of one of the big favourite’s picking up a fourth world title, plus the £500,000 prize money, will now be replaced by a £25,000 prize instead.
As well as completely destroying the lower half of the tournament’s draw, questions are bound to be asked about the PDC’s efforts before the start, to keep its particpiants safe and in bubbles. With two players already forced to withdraw, the possibility of more positives now exists, and a potentially disastrous tournament.
“Michael van Gerwen has withdrawn from the William Hill World Darts Championship after testing positive for Covid-19 ahead of his match with Chris Dobey”, said a statement from the PDC today.
Continuing, “Dobey will receive a bye to the last 16, and Tuesday evening’s session will continue with two matches, as Rob Cross plays Daryl Gurney and Peter Wright meets Damon Heta”.
“Now this tournament is devalued”, commented Gerwyn ‘The Iceman’ Price – the reigning PDC world champion from Wales – on Instagram. “I’d rather play the best to be the best, absolutely feel sick for these players having to pull out over Covid”, ha added, as reported by thesun.co.uk.