Raymond van Barneveld says he has no intention of going back into retirement, but admits he must look after his health amid the fierce competition on the darts circuit.
The Dutch icon retired after suffering a first round exit at the hands of Darin Young at the 2020 PDC World Championship. However, he quickly reversed his decision, admitting he missed the sport and announced plans to compete at the Qualifying School in a bid to regain his PDC Tour Card. He duly got back on the tour and was soon a victor again, winning a Players Championship tournament.
He then tasted victory at the Alexandra Palace, advancing to the second round of the World Championship, only to lose to Rob Cross. However, his comeback has stalled somewhat since then and he has qualified for just three of this season’s 13 European Tour events.
READ MORE: Raymond van Barneveld gives unusual excuse for underwhelming darts comeback
Barney is currently having a brief break but will return to action in September at Hungarian Trophy and the German Open. The 55-year-old, who suffers from diabetes, has been practising hard while also looking after his health and taking up meditation.
“I will start working again on September 1. Four hours of training a day and then meditation and sports,” he told AD.nl. “I still have to get fitter, especially because I also have diabetes.”
Van Barneveld concedes the level of competition across the sport is much tougher than during his heyday and says he cannot expect any easy matches in the early rounds of tournaments.
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“Suddenly Danny Jansen wins a Pro Tour and Boris Koltsov is in a final,” he said of the depth of field. “Until about five years ago, I often made it to the last eight and then the real competition started. Now it's often payday in round one.
“Of the 13 Euro Tour tournaments, I only managed to qualify for three. That is not good of course.”
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