For the Welsh superstar Gerwyn Price, the Darts World Cup 2023 ended surprisingly early with the crashing quarter-final defeat against the "German Giant" Gabriel Clemens. After the match, the world number one threatened a boycott on social media.
Superstar Gerwyn Price suffered severe humiliation at the Darts World Cup. In the quarter-finals, he lost 5-1 in sets against the furiously throwing "German Giant" Gabriel Clemens. The Welshman's defeat is a surprise, the clarity a sensation. After a strong start with two high finishes - he checked 110 and 148 with three arrows - the world number one lost more and more control over the game. Because Clemens was never so good in the legendary Alexandra Palace and because he was at odds with himself.
So scenes played out on the stage that you don't know. Price is the epitome of the darts playing creed. It's not for nothing that the former rugby pro has earned the nickname "Iceman" - and deserves it. Outstanding in scoring, strong in doubles and inimitable in timing, he has thrown himself to the top of the world. But on this Sunday evening, the Welshman misses almost everything that leads to bizarre scenes. In the fourth set he came out of the break with huge headphones. A provocation to upset Clemens? An act of desperation to allow yourself to focus better?
Price has always had most of the fans against him. His excessive cheering, shouting, and sometimes arrogant smile don't go over well. And in this interplay between extroverted show on stage and whistles from the audience, the superstar repeatedly makes provocative gestures - also in the duel with Clemens. When he won the first leg (it takes three to win the set) with his headphones, he triggered the fans with "I-hear-nothing" hand movements. "I would have thought he would take them off again. He didn't do that. My goal was just to win the sentence," said Clemens at DAZN
Worked fine. Price didn't get a constant grip on his game, while Clemens mercilessly played his. Even a bit of double trouble from the German - he missed numerous chances on the double field on the outer ring that was decisive for a leg - didn't let this game tip over. Price couldn't create momentum because he just didn't score high enough to break Clemens. While still on stage, the "Iceman" presented himself as a fair sportsman (which he almost always is after the games), hugged the "German Giant" and paid tribute to his sensational performance.
Later, however, Price caused quite a stir. On social media, he gave free rein to his anger at the botched quarter-finals. "I'm not sure I'll ever play in a World Cup again," Price wrote on his Instagram story. He was completely depressed after this disastrous evening. "It's so frustrating when you play for the whole year to prepare for this one tournament. I'm so disappointed that I wasn't allowed to play." What was this charge about? Not clear. He actually knows the whistles of the fans. But that's not all, Price has now deleted all, really all posts on his Instagram account. Is the "Iceman" really serious?
ntv.de darts expert Kevin Schulte considers Price's emotional settlement to be just loud barking for the time being. "It has often happened that he couldn't deal with bitter defeats and then turned freely on Instagram. The fact that he not only deleted the post, but everything on his account, is due to the immediate emotion. After such games, he should use his cell phone better not touch it." However, there is always a residual risk that Price will suddenly stop playing because "he is not a darts purist, not one who will play for 20 years and then remain an expert on the scene." Price, as he said himself, gambles to take money out of other people's pockets...
While Price's journey ends, at least at Alexandra Palace, Clemens' tour continues. In the semifinals, the "Bully Boy" Michael Smith is waiting in the evening. The vice world champion from 2019 and 2022 prevailed 5: 3 against compatriot Stephen Bunting in his quarter-final duel on Sunday afternoon. Smith led clearly for a long time and finally used his second match dart to make it 3-1 in the eighth set.