Van Duijvenbode ready to ‘swim channel’ to get back to Ally Pally during strikes

Dirk van Duijvenbode has joked he will "swim the English Channel" to get back to the Ally Pally after Christmas.

Van Duivenbode is into the third round in north London after coming through a humdinger against Karel Sedlacek on Thursday. He's going home for Christmas before facing European Championship winner Ross Smith next Thursday – providing he can get back to the UK as strikes continue to cause disruption across the country.

The Dutchman said: “I’m going home for Christmas – and if no-one is bringing me back to the UK, I will swim the Channel!

“There are so many options – flying, the car train, the personal train or the boat to across the sea. There are many possibilities. If not, I will see if my manager Jason can get me a helicopter! If there is some occasion where they say they will strike for a week, I will come back earlier.

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"That is what I did two years ago when they said they may close the borders. You just watch the news and if there is any bad news, you adjust your travel plans."

Meanwhile, tournament favourite Michael Van Gerwen is also facing a disrupted Christmas for the third year running – because he too fears Britain's winter of discontent could leave him stranded. Although he has gone home to his wife Daphne and two young children for a brief festive reunion in Holland, Van Gerwen is heading back to London on Christmas Day to prevent the UK's rash of strikes derailing his charge for a fourth darts world title.

MVG says a perfect storm of industrial action on the railways, at airports and by passport control staff has left him “edgy” about his travel prospects.

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He said: "I'm a little bit edgy about all the strikes in England affecting travel and border control, which doesn't make life easy.

“I'm coming back to the UK on Christmas Day in the evening, to give myself an extra day, but I hope the queues are not that long.

“I've never travelled on Christmas Day before – I've either stayed in London for the duration of my involvement at the world championship or come back from the Netherlands on Boxing Day.”


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