Defending champion Wright after troubled preparation for World Cup darts
After a turbulent time, Peter Wright has made a strong start to World Cup darts. The Scottish defending champion beat Northern Irishman Mickey Mansell 3-0 in sets to reach the third round after an earlier bye.
Wright’s preparation for the World Cup did not go smoothly. His wife Joanne was taken to hospital with a collapsed lung during the Darts Grand Slam at Wolverhampton last month after complications following gallbladder surgery.
So Wright had other things on his mind lately, but his wife, also his hairdresser, received good news from his surgeon last Thursday. As a result, the Scot’s sights could still be somewhat focused on the World Cup.
However, the reigning world champion considers himself an outsider and logically puts forward Michael van Gerwen, who is in excellent form this year, as a candidate for the title. “He’s rightfully the favorite if you see what he’s won this year. I’m staying behind.”
Wright, who received a first-round bye, faced Mansell, who knocked out Ben Robb earlier in the evening, in the second round. He didn’t get in trouble for a while and only gave up one leg.
Incidentally, Wright himself also suffered from physical discomfort earlier this year. He had his gallbladder removed in August, causing him to miss World Series tournaments in Australia and New Zealand.
A Dutchman also came into action on the first day of the World Cup: Jermaine Wattimena. He met Northern Irishman Nathan Rafferty in the first round and lost 2-3. As a result, Wattimena misses a clash with fourth-placed Michael Smith.
South African debutant Grant Sampson surprisingly beat Irish talent Keane Barry 3-1 and will face Belgian Kim Huybrechts in the second round on Friday.
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