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MICHAEL VAN GERWEN was crowned World Darts Champion for the third time after a dominant performance against Michael Smith in the final at Alexandra Palace.

Van Gerwen raced into a 4-0 lead and went on to triumph 7-3, claiming the sport’s biggest ever prize of £500,000 on New Year’s Day.

“This means the world to me,” said Van Gerwen, who extended his incredible streak of 100+ averages at the World Championship.

“I think I did really well throughout this tournament and after losing a few tournaments this year it puts everything right.

“The final went very well for me because I got on top very early and it was always going to be hard for Michael to come back from there.

“He played a phenomenal tournament but so did I and to win three World Championships sis something really special.”