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Last Updated: Monday, 15 January 2007, 15:41 GMT
Dutch trio defect to PDC circuit
Jelle Klaasen
Klaasen leads the defection to the PDC
Three Dutch players have followed the lead of Raymond van Barneveld and left the British Darts Organisation to join the Professional Darts Corporation.

Jelle Klaasen, winner of the 2006 BDO World Championship, 17-year-old Michael van Gerwen and Vincent van der Voort have crossed the sport's bitter divide.

They join compatriot Van Barneveld, who moved 11 months ago, on the circuit.

Klaasen said: "I have chosen the PDC because they are more professional, with more money and more tournaments."

He added: "I am looking forward to playing in Gibraltar and in the other tournaments throughout the year and want to prove myself against the best players in the world."

Frank K - BBC Sport
Van Gerwen, winner of the World Masters last October and regarded as one of the best young talents in the game, said: "I saw what a good move it was for Raymond last year and I want to try to emulate his achievements.

"The PDC gives me the best opportunity to become the best player in the world and I know my game will only get better for this."

Also strongly linked with the PDC was England's Mervyn King, who belongs to the same management group as the three Dutchmen.

However, King is now tied to the BDO under the terms of a contract signed by each competing player stating they would return to the Lakeside next year if they reached the semi-finals - King lost in the last four to Adams.

Klaasen, Van Gerwen and Van der Voort will make their PDC debuts next weekend in Gibraltar, where two Players Championship events are being held.

It was a great championship all week - one of the best I have ever been to

BDO spokesman Robert Holmes
Despite the defections, though, BDO spokesman Robert Holmes is happy with the state of the circuit following "one of the best" Lakeside World Championship finals on Sunday.

Top seed Martin Adams, who has pledged his allegiance to the BDO, edged an amazing final 7-6 after his opponent, fellow 50-year-old Phill Nixon, had won six consecutive sets having been 6-0 down.

"It was a great championship all week - one of the best I have ever been to," said Holmes.

"The final was certainly in keeping with what had gone before. It would have been disappointing if it had been 7-0 to Martin Adams but you can't get anything much more dramatic than the way Phill Nixon came back."

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