Michael van Gerwen eagerly anticipating chance to cement legacy at the PDC Darts World Championship

Michael van Gerwen claims he has nothing to prove as he looks to further cement himself as one of the darting greats at the World Championship.

The Dutchman is second on the all-time list of winners of the coveted title with three, behind only 14-time champion Phil Taylor.

Van Gerwen has been at the top of the game for some time and is widely regarded as the best player when he is on song, but his critics say he should have won more world titles that would really rubber-stamp his standing in the game.

But the 33-year-old, who has won four major titles in 2022, does not see it like that as he prepares for this year's tournament at Alexandra Palace, which begins on Thursday.

"Of course I want to add more, but as long as I keep winning tournaments, World Championships will follow," he told the PA news agency.

"That's how it is, keep believing in yourself. People always say you have to do this or that, I have won four big tournaments this season so I am not complaining.

"I am doing fine. From this moment, there is only more to come.

"I don't have to prove anything, what I did in darts in the last 10 or 15 years, everyone knows what I am capable of. I just want to do the thing I love the most and that is play as well as possible."

Van Gerwen, who has to wait until next Wednesday to begin his campaign, might have got his hands on the Sid Waddell Trophy last year had he not been struck down by coronavirus and forced to withdraw.

He has regularly claimed that several of his competitors did not report their own positive tests, but is now looking forward.

"If you ask me now do I think I made the right decision, yes, of course," he said.

"If you have corona, you have to be taken out, I am one of the few ones who admitted he had corona, so I think I made the right decision and I don't regret any of it.

"I could have won it, I was playing very well and I felt good. It's done and dusted and it's now this year's tournament. If it really bothered me, I wouldn't have won all those tournaments this year."

One of Van Gerwen's major rivals for the title will be top seed Gerwyn Price, who is looking to win the tournament for the second time.

He won in 2021 when it was behind closed doors due to the pandemic and feels he was robbed of the authentic experience.

"I did a little bit of media afterwards, a couple of interviews, and then I went back to my hotel room," the Welshman said.

"Not being able to celebrate or share my greatest achievement in darts - it was a bit of an anti-climax.

"I know what it's like to win the World Championship, but I don't know what it's like to win it in front of a big crowd, with celebrations and family there, so that's a big drive for me now."

The action kicks off on Thursday with Peter Wright defending his title against either Mickey Mansell or Ben Robb, who meet in the opening match of the tournament.

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