Price to face former locksmith at Ally Pally in landmark moment for German darts

Gerwyn Price will have to unpick a former locksmith when he returns to the Ally Stage on New Year’s Day.

The Iceman now knows his quarter-final opponent after German Gabriel Clemens ended Alan Soutar’s brilliant World Championship run at the last-16 stage in a 4-1 scoreline. In doing so, Clemens made history by becoming the first German player to reach the last eight of a World Championship.

It was a landmark moment in the career of Clemens, who has been roared on by hundreds of his fellow Germans, who have travelled to north London.

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The 39-year-old has come a long way in a short time, having only committed to darts full-time in 2019, having been a locksmith for 16 years. His progress was then held up by the pandemic but Clemens is now showing his quality on the biggest stage of all.

“The first year I go to work and darts. That was too much travelling, that’s not good for your head. Then I go to play only darts,” he said after his victory over Soutar.

“That’s good, at the moment. On the stage, this is my best performance.”

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With Germans flocking to Ally Pally in big numbers, and with Price regarded as a pantomime villain among many fans, Clemens can expect their clash to feel like a home game.

“I hope the crowd is on my side,” he said. “It’s a good feeling when you know the crowd is on your side. But I must play good darts, that is the important thing. I will make a good game in the quarters, then we will see.”

In the afternoon's other games, Dimitri Van den Bergh hammered Kim Huybrechts in the all-Belgian affair while Michael Smith saw off Joe Cullen 4-1.

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