The hype, the costumes and party atmosphere of the Darts World Championship have descended on London’s Alexandra Palace with play beginning on Friday.
Canterbury’s Ben ‘Big Rig’ Robb is waiting for his turn to step up to centre stage, with his first match against Dutchman Ron Meulenkamp scheduled for Wednesday night NZT.
The 31-year-old Robb was in top form at the DPNZ qualifier, winning every match by a clear margin.
Leading Darts website Darts News talked up Robb saying, “Factor in a strong performance at the NZ Darts Masters, where he averaged 96 in both a win over Simon Whitlock and defeat to Rob Cross, and it’s clear that Robb isn’t here to make up the numbers.”
As for his opponent, they shared some information that will probably give a bit of confidence to Kiwi fans.
“[Robb will] make his Ally Pally debut against Ron Meulenkamp, who has had a solid if unspectacular season. There have been four floor semi-finals, which is good going – the Bomb turned out to be 23rd seed at the Players Championship Finals. Cruel fate placed him against world number two Cross. Defeat in Minehead, and in the UK Open at the same venue against Adam Hunt, means that the Dutchman hasn’t actually won at a major this year. The World Championship is as good a place as any to start.”
In tournament news so far, five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld has crashed out in the first round to American Darin Young, a sad end as it is his last world champs before retirement.
A distraught Raymond van Barneveld reflects on a painful last night of his career at Alexandra Palace... pic.twitter.com/FomoEycFR4— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) December 15, 2019
The World Darts Championships run until New Year’s Day.