World Darts Championship: Raymond van Barneveld tests positive for Covid-19 following Alexandra Palace exit

Raymond van Barneveld has tested positive for Covid-19, just hours after his exit from the World Darts Championship.

The five-time world champion was beaten 3-1 by 2018 winner Rob Cross in a compelling second-round contest at Alexandra Palace on Thursday night.

Van Barneveld, competing in his first World Championship since coming out of retirement, had eased past Lourence Ilagan in round one, to record his first victory in the sport’s flagship event since 2017.

The veteran Dutchman made a blistering start to clinch the opening set against Cross, only for ‘Voltage’ to win nine of the next 12 legs to close out victory.

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Raymond van Barneveld produced an incredible 170 finish during his clash with Rob Cross at the World Championship

December 27, 2021, 12:30pm

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Van Barneveld has confirmed that he did not have any symptoms during his clash with Cross, but claims he began to feel unwell post-match.

The 54-year-old – featuring in his 29th World Championship – was due to fly home to the Netherlands but will now remain in London to undergo a period of self-isolation.

He informed fans of the news in a social media post on Friday evening.

“Dear fans, unfortunately I have to announce that I tested positive for COVID19.

“During the match I didn’t have any symptoms, but afterwards I started to realise that I was developing a shortness of breath and fever.

“I directly called my manager Ben de Kok and he advised to go straight to my hotel room and to not give interviews in order to avoid any risk.

“At the moment I do suffer from fever and serious tiredness. The upcoming days I will stay in quarantine in London.

“We already spoke with Rob Cross and the PDC about the current situation. Stay safe.”

Cross – seeded 11th at this year’s World Championship, is due to take on two-time major winner Daryl Gurney in the third round on Tuesday December 28.

Spain’s Juan Francisco Rodriguez was forced to withdraw prior to the tournament after recording a positive test for Covid-19, while Dutchman Martijn Kleermaker was ruled out of last year’s event after also testing positive.

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