D.ebütant Florian Hempel had a real surprise at the Darts World Cup in London and knocked out fellow favorite Dimitri van den Bergh from the tournament. The 31-year-old Cologne-based player defeated the Belgian top player 3-1 on Tuesday evening and made it to the third round completely unexpectedly. At the beginning Hempel had defeated compatriot and training colleague Martin Schindler 3-0. The career changer will continue his third round duel on December 27th. He now has to spend Christmas in London – also because of the strict quarantine regulations.
On Monday, after Christmas on the island, Hempel will meet Devon Petersen (South Africa) or Raymond Smith (Australia).
Right at the beginning, Hempel got off to a strong start. He snatched the first sentence from the co-favorite directly by hitting the double fields with a high percentage. With an average of 106 points, the former handball goalkeeper from Germany initially played an extremely high level. After that, the number five seeded van den Bergh, after all the 2020 World Matchplay winner, increased significantly and won the second set. As a result, the German stabilized and actually managed the surprise, using his first match dart.
This means that two out of four Germans are still in the tournament – Hempel and Gabriel Clemens (Saarwellingen, 38 years old), who made it to the round of 16 a year ago and will join on December 23.
Even before the game began, the Alexandra Palace was full of atmosphere. Hempel ran into Brings’ hit “Kölsche Jung” and sang along with it again. The 27-year-old van den Bergh with the nickname “The Dreammaker” put down his usual filigree dances on the stage – but sporty it was over with the ease.
In another match, the former World Cup finalist Michael Smith made it through to the third round with ease. The 31-year-old Englishman clearly prevailed 3-0 against the Dutchman Ron Meulenkamp. Smith played an average of 106.32 points per three arrows, which is a clear record at the current World Cup in London. The “Bully Boy”, as Smith is also known, was in the 2019 World Cup final and lost to Michael van Gerwen from the Netherlands.
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