Peter Wright admitted he didn’t care whether he won or lost his second match at the Grand Slam of Darts after his wife Joanne was rushed into hospital.
Hairdresser Joanne Wright, who is responsible for the world champion’s Mohawk hairstyle for matches, was taken to A&E on Saturday before her husband’s game against Fallon Sherrock.
Peter only found out after the game, which he won, and he was at his wife’s bedside until the early hours of Sunday morning. As a result, he wanted to pull out of his match against Alan Soutar, but Joanne insisted that he played.
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Wright won the Group E tie 5-4 after Soutar missed six match darts and admitted he wasn’t happy on the Wolverhampton stage.
“The crowd got on my nerves and there are things going on right now besides the darts that aren't very fun,” he told ViaPlay.
“I definitely considered not playing this match, but she insisted I show up anyway. She is in safe hands, that is the most important, but it was very difficult to play.
“Today I wanted to go back, but I was not allowed to see her. That was quite painful, so I didn't care tonight whether I won or not. But Jo wanted me to come and play to try and get the win.
Elsewhere on Sunday, Raymond van Barneveld secured his place in the knockout stages with a stunning win over world number one Gerwyn Price. Jonny Clayton, Luke Humphries and fellow Dutch stars Michael van Gerwen and Dirk van Duijvenbode also booked their places in the last 16.
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But it was veteran Van Barneveld who stole the show at the Aldersley Leisure Village, defying a 106 average from Price to prevail in an epic, despite trailing 3-1 and 4-3 during the contest.
Price made a blistering start, but Van Barneveld came roaring back, registering legs of 11, 14 and 14 darts to force a decider, before sealing his progression to the last 16 with a nerveless 67 finish on double 16.
“This is one of the best wins of my career,” insisted Van Barneveld, who will take on World Youth Champion Ted Evetts in his final Group A tie tonight (Monday).
“Gerwyn was a great sport. I think he was enjoying the game, and I was enjoying the way he was playing. This is what darts is all about, and I’m over the moon with this result.”
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