Raymond van Barneveld makes winning return at darts World Championships

Former five-time world champion proving decision to come out of retirement was a good one.

Raymond van Barneveld made a triumphant return to the darts World Championships by easily beating Lourence Ilgan at Alexandra Palace.

The former five-time world champion retired after his first round defeat to Darin Young in 2019, but he regained his PDC tour card in February this year.

That decision appears to have been a good one, with the 54-year-old showing glimpses of the old quality in a 3-0 win that sets up a clash with 2018 world champion Rob Cross in the second round.

Van Barneveld told Sky Sports: "It's a privilege to be back. I miss it and I had one goal, to be back here. And here it is.

"My last game was poor and I went home and thought the crowd deserves better. I never thought I was getting back, because I was done with darts, and then circumstances…and then this.

"I knew Lourence is a good player. He played amazing in the first leg, he could have hit that and then the game could have been all different. But the crowd was always behind me and maybe because of that Lourence was maybe too much nervous, I don't know.

"I didn't play my A-game tonight, I can play much better, but I won and that's the only thing that matters."

Monday evening also saw James Wade record a 3-1 second-round victory over Maik Kuivenhoven, while Rusty-Jake Rodriguez and Luke Woodhouse advanced from round one with 3-1 wins against Ben Robb and James Wilson respectively.

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