Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton led Wales to their maiden World Cup of Darts crown in Salzburg on Sunday, which prompted ‘The Iceman’ to hail their triumph as the proudest moment of his career.
Price has enjoyed a prolific 2020 – adding World Grand Prix and World Series Finals titles to his back-to-back Grand Slam crowns, but the Welshman was effusive after guiding his country to World Cup glory.
The world No 3 led Wales to a World Cup final in 2017 alongside Mark Webster, who starred as they lost to Netherlands in the inaugural 2010 final. However, Price and Clayton went one better in Austria, as they became the fourth nation to lift the coveted title.
Having whitewashed Russia in the opening round, the Welsh duo dumped out holders Scotland in round two – overcoming the new-look pairing of John Henderson and Robert Thornton in a doubles decider.
The second seeds then overcame the formidable Australian partnership of Simon Whitlock and Damon Heta in another pairs shootout, before defeating Germany in successive singles matches, as Gabriel Clemens and Max Hopp led their nation to a first World Cup semi-final.
This set up a showdown against top seeds England in the final, although Price and Clayton romped to a 3-0 victory with a series of impressive displays, which began with Price defeating his Premier League rival Michael Smith in the opening rubber.
Clayton then posted a superb 105 average to topple Rob Cross and double Wales’ lead, before they delivered the goods in the pairs contest to make World Cup history.
“I’ve won a couple of majors but to win this with Jonny is the proudest moment of my darting career,” said Price.
“Hitting that winning double and the emotions outweigh every trophy I’ve won, even playing rugby and winning trophies there, it feels extra special today. The rugby is still close to me but this feels better than every tournament I’ve won.”
“I was full of confidence and I’m sure Jonny was as well. Jonny came into the event on the back of a semi-final last week in the European Championship and a final on the European Tour before that, and I’ve been playing well over the last 12 to 18 months.
“It’s good getting to finals, but to win and pick up trophies is extra special. I just dug deep in that final and got over that winning line. This is the most special one and it’s emotional. It’s a fantastic moment, not just for me and Jonny but for the rest of Wales as well.”
Image Credit: Kais Bodensieck/PDC Europe