When Michael van Gerwen hit 17 perfect darts in a World Championship match

Michael van Gerwen is one of the greatest players in the history of darts, and in 2012 he made history with one of the best showings of his career.

Every arrows fan knows that the countdown to Christmas doesn’t truly begin until the start of the World Darts Championship. The tournament captivates sports enthusiasts from all over the country who become engrossed in the simple yet beautiful game.

The competition always provides excitement in abundance, and this year’s edition is no different. We’ve been treated to some incredible matches so far. Jonny Clayton and Michael Smith provided fans with one of the greatest games of all time last night.

The stunning fixture was so enchanting that it eclipsed an epic collision between Gerwyn Price and Kim Huybrechts on Monday. Price, the reigning champion, only just made it to the next round.

Tournament rocked by Covid-19 outbreak

Unfortunately, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, several players have had to withdraw from the tournament. Fan favourites Vincent van der Voort and Dave Chisnall both tested positive this week. But perhaps the biggest hit to the competition was the loss of Michael van Gerwen.

Read: Gerwyn Price speaks out over World Darts Championship concerns after positive Covid-19 cases

Before his scheduled match with Chris Dobey, ‘The Green Machine’ was forced to pull out of the tournament. The Dutchman was one of the favourites to win the final on January 3. But now, he will have to wait another year to make his next attempt at an elusive fourth world title.

The news that three of the world’s most popular players have had to pull out is profoundly upsetting for fans. However, as the phrase goes, ‘the show must go on’, and there’s still plenty to look forward to.

Darts enthusiasts will still get to enjoy more 180s and amazing out-shots. But the thing that the crowd will hope for the most is another nine-darter.

The Alexandra Palace has already been treated to two amazing flawless legs so far this tournament. The first was struck by 25-year-old William Borland, who made history by hitting the incredible finish in the deciding leg of his second-round match. Remarkably, the crowd were then treated to a second in just as many days. Darius Labanauskas hit perfection to send those in attendance into hysterics.

When Michael van Gerwen showed just how good he is

Michael van Gerwen will be absent for the rest of the tournament. But fans can still reminisce over the spectacular darting magic he has produced over the years. The Dutchman has proved time and time again that he’s the most talented player on the planet.

But back in 2012, before he had ever won the biggest prize in the sport, the Doyen of Dutch Darts showed the world just how good he could be.

Earlier that year, MVG picked up his first major title at the World Grand Prix. Therefore by the time the World Championships rolled around, he was ready to prove just how good a player he was.

During his semi-final encounter with James Wade, van Gerwen was ready to make a statement. He wasn’t remotely intimidated by his multiple major-winning opponent, and it showed on the oche.

He fired in a beautiful 180, followed by two treble 20s and a treble 19 to get the crowd bouncing. Then upon his third visit, he hit the first two requisite targets with laser-like precision before he nailed the double 12 to send the Ally Pally faithful into hysterics.

A second back-to-back nine?

Following the historic moment, Van Gerwen’s body language was surprisingly nonchalant. It was like producing this display of sporting greatness had been as easy as a walk in the park for him.

So when he hit another 180, the fans well and truly believed. He couldn’t do it again, could he?

Suddenly, another maximum went in, followed by a treble 20 and a treble 19. Michael van Gerwen needed to hit a double to make history.

But to the dismay of the crowd and indeed himself, the Dutch Darting Dynamo just fell short of his required target.

However, we can’t imagine that MvG focuses on this too much. He’s now a 41-time major winner, and although he’s going through a tough run of form right now, there’s no doubt that he’ll return to his brilliant best in the not too distant future.

Could it be the year of The Machine?

James Wade seems to have a habit of being on the receiving end of nine-darters. In the 2010 Premier League Final, the former champion was hit by not one but two sensational perfect legs by the legendary Phil Taylor.

Although this must have been demoralising for the-38-year-old, it hasn’t prevented him from going on to achieve great things. Earlier this year, he won the UK Open to join ‘The Power’ as only the second player to win majors in three different decades.

There isn’t much left for Wade to do in the sport. But if he wants to solidify his legacy as one of the greatest players of all time, he needs a World Title on his resume.

Having received a bye to the last-16, the underrated player is just four games away from achieving his lifelong dream. He’s more than capable of doing it, but with the likes of Gerwyn Price, Peter Wright and Gary Anderson still in the tournament, there’s still a long way to go.

Featured Image Credit: Getty