Martijn Kleermaker has been ruled out of the World Darts Championship after returning a positive Covid-19 test ahead of his clash against South African qualifier Cameron Carolissen.
Emerging Dutchman Kleermaker was set to make his Alexandra Palace bow following an impressive debut year on the PDC circuit, although the 29-year-old has been withdrawn from the competition due to his positive test, per PDC protocols.
“I am very disappointed that I won’t be able to take part in the World Championship,” Kleermaker told the PDC.
“My health is my main priority and currently I am not displaying any symptoms, but I would ask everyone to respect my privacy at this difficult time. Thank you for your support and understanding.”
Carolissen will now receive a bye through to the second round, after Kleermaker’s intended replacement Josh Payne was also ruled out of the competition, despite returning a negative test.
Former World Youth finalist Payne – the highest ranked player of the six final round losers at the PDPA Qualifier – has been in close contact with someone in the last 24 hours who has returned a positive test and therefore has to self-isolate in accordance with UK government protocols.
With no further opportunity to replace Kleermaker before tonight’s scheduled tie, Carolissen now receives a first round bye and will play Danny Noppert in the second round, therefore Sunday’s evening session will feature just three matches.
Image: Lawrence Lustig/PDC