The Dutch darts star Michael van Gerwen and defending champion Michael Smith have achieved their next victories at the World Championships in London. In the clear 4-0 win, Mighty Mike, as van Gerwen is called, gave his compatriot Richard Veenstra no chance at all.
Van Gerwen, who won the tournament at Alexandra Palace in 2014, 2017 and 2019, used the first match dart on the double 5 straight away. Smith then defeated Latvia's Madars Razma 4-1.
From the round of 16 onwards, much more difficult tests could await van Gerwen. England's co-favorite Stephen Bunting, who faces Florian Hempel on Thursday (1.30 p.m.), is a potential opponent in the round of the best 16. "Bring me Bunting. If you want the title, you have to beat everyone," said van Gerwen on the Stage in a TV interview.
In the semi-finals the Dutchman could face top favorite Luke Humphries from England. Van Gerwen against Humphries is considered the early final in London. Smith lost the first set against outsider Razma, but then improved significantly and won clearly. Other favorites such as Peter Wright (Scotland) and Nathan Aspinall (England) were already eliminated before Christmas.