Darts World Championship: Record breaking Michael van Gerwen delighted after 'unbelievable' final victory over Peter Wright

Van Gerwen became the youngest ever winner of the title having finished as runner-up last year

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The Independent Online

Michael Van Gerwen defeated Peter Wright 7-4 to win the Ladbrokes World Championship at Alexandra Palace and become the youngest PDC champion.

The 24-year-old Dutchman, beaten by Phil Taylor in last year's final, was simply too strong for world number 16 Wright and took control of the contest by winning the first four sets.

Although Wright made a fight of it, the Suffolk-based Scot paid for the poor start as Van Gerwen closed out victory to lift the Sid Waddell Trophy and pick up the £250,000 first prize.

The triumph also lifts van Gerwen above Taylor to the top of the PDC Order of Merit for the first time.

Van Gerwen raced into a four-set lead by winning 12 of the game's opening 14 legs in a stunning start to the game.

Wright was failing to reproduce the precision for doubles he showed in his semi-final success over Simon Whitlock and at this stage a whitewash looked a very real prospect.

However, 'Snakebite' Wright began to show some form to halt the one-sided nature of the contest, winning the next two sets to halve the deficit.

But 43-year-old Wright missed one dart at double top to win the seventh set, and van Gerwen recovered on double eight to move 5-2 up and then took the next set 3-1 to move just one set from the title.

Van Gerwen set up hopes of a nine-dart finish with successive 180s in the fourth leg of the 11th set - and although he could not achieve it, he nailed the deciding leg with a 72 finish on double top.

The final also saw van Gerwen hit 16 180s and Wright land six maximums, as the World Championship record of 588 - set in 2012 - was smashed with a total of 603.

The victor told Sky Sports 1 afterwards: "It was a very tough match. I got nervous after going 4-0 up but it doesn't matter how you win a final, winning it is the most important.

"It's so difficult to win this title and there was more pressure on me this year than last year. It means so much for me.

"It's unbelievable, a dream come true. I'm so glad I won but all credit to Peter, he did well and put me under pressure."

Wright added: "I never give up - that's my game. The crowd got behind me and made me play - but well done Michael."