Willie O'Connor's exits World...


Willie O'Connor's exits World Darts Championship

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Willie O'Connor is out of the PDC World Darts Championship. 

The Limerick native put in a credible display against Michael Smith, but lost out 4-2 in their last 32 clash at the Alexandra Palace.

O'Connor started with promise and won the first set, but Smith soon moved through the gears in a game with plenty of quality.

The World number 9 moved 3-1 in front, but O'Connor pulled a set back to keep himself in contention.

Smith - with an average of 97.5 - won the final set, however, to secure his passage through to the last 16.

Meanwhile, some concern has emerged as to Michael Van Gerwen's continued participation in the tournament.

The Dutchman - who has won the title on three occasions - could be impacted by Covid-19.

It comes after his compatriot, Vincent Van Der Voort, tested positive for the virus.

He has been forced to withdraw and has handed a walkover to his opponent in the last 32 James Wade.

Van Gerwen, however, is said to have spent Christmas Day in Van Der Voort's company.

It's reported that Van Gerwen has returned a negative PCR test today.

He must undertake another lateral flow test again tomorrow before his third round clash with Chris Dobey

Another Dutch player, former champion Raymond Van Barneveld, has also tested positive for Covid-19.

Confirmation of his positive test came after his loss to Rob Cross on December 23rd.

The PDC has defended its testing protocols, and wishes Van Barneveld a full recovery.

"We have been made aware of Raymond's positive test and send him our best wishes for a speedy recovery," a statement read.

"We are following approved protocols and have appropriate regulations in place around the William Hill World Darts Championship, one of which is that all players and staff must produce a negative Covid test result on their return to the event after the Christmas break."

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Alexandra Palace Darts Limerick Michael Smith Michael Van Gerwen Willie O'Connor World Darts Championship

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