Darts: Michael van Gerwen up and running

Michael van Gerwen beat John Part World Grand Prix

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Defending champion Michael van Gerwen put down a marker with an impressive display to beat John Part in the first round of the World Grand Prix.

The 24-year-old hit the ground running and raced to the first set with back-to-back 12-dart legs and a stellar average of 109.98.

But Canadian Part showed why he is still a force to be reckoned with at the age of 47 as he forced the Dutchman into a deciding leg in the second.

However, ‘Mighty Mike’ upped his game when required to take it 3-2 and claim the match, with compatriot Raymond Van Barneveld now waiting in the next round in Dublin.

Van Gerwen was relieved to get through and made it clear that it was not all plain sailing.

“People think it’s very easy but there was a lot of pressure for me in this game,” he said.

“I didn’t play some local player, I played John Part, he’s three times world champion. I’m so happy I won this game 2-0. It’s good for my confidence.”

‘Barney’ beat Stuart Kellett by two sets to nil but was up against it early on as his opponent missed double top to take the first set.

But, once the 46-year-old had taken the opener, he raced away with the second to reach the last 16.

Andy Hamilton showed laser-like accuracy in his 2-0 victory over Kim Huybrechts, hitting six doubles from six attempts to thrash the Belgian, while Wayne Jones and will now play Dave Chisnall after beating Mervyn King 2-0.

Chisnall needed three sets to get past Ian White, while Justin Pipe beat Andy Smith 2-0 and will next play two-time world champion Adrian Lewis, who edged out Northern Ireland’s Brendan Dolan.

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