Raymond van Barneveld falls ill ahead of World Championship Darts opener
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Raymond van Barneveld has fallen ill ahead of his first game at the 2023 World Darts Championship.
The Dutch legend is due to face Ryan Meikle in the second round in the final match of tonight’s play at the Alexandra Palace. But his participation was plunged into doubt after he went down ill with food poisoning on Monday, reported Sky Sports.
The broadcaster added Barney is “feeling better” and is expected to play against Meikle, with the winner to face world number one Gerwyn Price in round three.
READ MORE: Raymond van Barneveld didn't want TV coverage of disastrous World Championship debut
But it was not ideal preparation for Van Barneveld, who has happy recent memories of playing Price, having beaten The Iceman twice during his run to the semi-finals of the Grand Slam last month.
Speaking ahead of the tournament, the 55-year-old, who came out of retirement a couple of years ago, said: “It’s always great to be back at the most important tournament in the world. The World Championship is the big one. This is the one you want to win. You want to perform well.
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“You need to have that belief and that’s why I often cannot handle defeat very well, because I know what my dreams and my goals are, and when you don’t achieve them, it’s hard to deal with.
“Darts will always be the love of my life and I think I did the right thing in taking a year out and regrouping.
“I’m in the top 32 now, and I’m proud of myself. I am really happy, and if you feel happy, then anything is possible.”
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- Gerwyn Price
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