Darts: Dutchman flies high in quest for crown

The three-times champion Raymond van Barneveld marched into the quarter-finals of the BDO World Championship in Frimley Green with a 3-0 victory over Scotland's Mike Veitch last night. The Dutchman triumphed with an impressive average of 33.64 per dart, the best of the championship so far.

The three-times champion Raymond van Barneveld marched into the quarter-finals of the BDO World Championship in Frimley Green with a 3-0 victory over Scotland's Mike Veitch last night. The Dutchman triumphed with an impressive average of 33.64 per dart, the best of the championship so far.

He said: "The average surprised me ­ I didn't think it was that high. I expected Mike to throw good darts, and he played superbly." Van Barneveld, who has already set his sights on a fourth world title, added: "That's important for me and the people of the Netherlands. It's fantastic to be world champion, and it's good to be in the quarter-finals again. But I'm just taking it one round at a time, and treating every one of them as a final."

One man who could stop Van Berneveld is the third seed Mervyn King who booked his place in the second round with a 3-0 win over the Welshman Wayne Warren.

King, last year's runner-up, who was tested as each set went to a fifth and deciding leg, said: "It was a very hard game ­ he scared the life out of me in the first set when he went 2-0 up, but I dug in and came through. A lot of people have been saying to me it's about time I won it, and I think it is. But all you can do is give it your best shot."

Another Dutchman, Andre Brantjes, booked a second-round meeting with King after edging an all-Dutch thriller 3-2 against Co Stompe.

The Finnish debutant Marko Kantele produced one of the upsets of the first round to knock out the sixth seed Tony "Silverback" O'Shea 3-1. O'Shea was hampered by the left shoulder he dislocated over Christmas, and Kantele took full advantage.

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