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 Sunday, 12 January, 2003, 21:23 GMT
Salute Raymond Barneveld
Can Raymond Barneveld take a third title at Lakeside?
The Dutchman clinches a third Embassy World Championship with a hard-fought win over Ritchie Davies.

Send your congratulations in to Raymond.

Barneveld proves too strong for The Lamb Chop at Lakeside as he wins the final 6-3.

Barney raced into a 4-0 lead but the Welshman gave him a fright by winning three sets in a row.

Barneveld hit back and produced a strong finish to takes his third crown, drawing to a close an often thrilling championship.

Send your tributes to Barney, and tell us about your highlights from the week.

This debate is now closed. See below for a selection of your e-mails.

I'm a massive Barney fan, so I'm gald he won. Mind you, with all the chances he had at doubles he should have won by more. Barney lacks the killer instinct of Taylor. As for comparing the BDO with the PDC, I think scoring is similar but the PDC players are better at doubles.
Desmond Devlin, Ireland

I disagree with all this talk about the PDC being light years ahead of the playing level shown at the Embassy. Aside from the top five seeds, the PDC championship was rather poor as far as averages go, players also frequently needing nine darts to complete a check-out.

In Barney's match against Clarys he held a 100+ average the entire match, in the first four sets against King he scored a 104 average, I didn't see anyone at the PDC with those scores.

Yes, the final was of lower quality (not taking anything away from the suspense) as finals often are, but Barney would be just as much a force in the PDC as the BDO.

Face it, most players first make it big in the BDO before 'defecting', this constant flow means that neither championship is of a 'below par' level.

Of course, I would like to see ALL the world's best players competing with each other but to say Barney's win means little due to the absence of the PDC tops is detracting to the outstanding performance of a great champion!
Arthur, Netherlands

Well done to Barney for winning a great darts event. He has proved once again to be the 'fantastic' dart player that Phil Taylor called him at the 2002 PDC event.

Barney is now one of the greats, up their with Lowe, Rees, Wilson and Priestly

Bengt Andersson, Sweden

In answer to Martin and Robert Morrell below, Barney has in his previous World championships and World Master wins won through fields not only containing the very top current BDO players but (except for Taylor) virtually all the other top ranking current PDC players.

This is because the last few seasons has seen the PDC championship greatly improved in its strength in depth with the arrival of players such as Part, Baxter, Burnett, Scholten, Painter etc.

It has also seen established PDC players such as Manley and Warriner try BDO events such as the World Masters, the Scottish Open and Gold Cup in recent years. Neither won these events or have over their careers won the level of titles or acclaim that Barney has.

Phil Taylor is the 'greatest' darts player but Barney is now, after Sunday, one of the greats up their with Lowe, Rees, Wilson and Priestly.
Bengt Andersson, Sweden

The lad oozes talent...move over the Count, long live Barney....Bobby Dazzler George will never be matched all the same. The Power has lost its belly and its talent!!!
Stephen, Netherlands

I would suggest that the only real difference between the BDO and PDC is Phil Taylor. Remember, Barney won two BDO embassy championships against many of the "superior" players who now earn a living in the PDC.

For people to say Raymond would have been defeated in the first round of the PDC championships is ludicrous.
Angela Peacock, Scotland

The Embassy doesn't have the same mystique it once had

Daniel Nellis, Toronto

Apart from the Monk v O'Shea game, the BDO has nothing to shout about over its organisation, the PDC is the place to be for entertainment and excitement. The Embassy may have the history but for all round excitement it has to be the PDC. Thank goodness for Bobby George, maybe the BBC should think about getting Bobby in the commentary box.
R Chery, UK

Barney, ik hoop dat je deze Nederlandse boodschap eruit haalt. Gefeliciteerd met die fantastische derde Embassy-titel!
Patrick Stehouwer, Netherlands

So Barney wins the Division One World nice. I almost forgot to pay attention seeing as this year's crop of players was rather weak. I mean, come on...Robson and Wagner post a 72 average during their match and the BDO has the gall to say they have better players?

If they have better players, why did they try and discourage Barney from playing Taylor head-to-head? What were they afraid of? We all knew what would happen.

I'm sorry, but the Embassy doesn't have the same mystique it once had. The Circus Tavern is the place to be. And the "Skol Six" who went there two years ago is proof positive that the Embassy isn't that prestigious anymore.
Daniel Nellis, Toronto, Canada

I still want to see how Raymond would fare in the PDC World Championship. I hear everyone yakking on and on about how Taylor has to come back to the Embassy to prove himself. Hello? I guess you've obviously forgotten that he's won the Embassy twice. And Taylor's already smoked the "World" Champion head-to-head.

Watch out, next year we'll see the Lamb Chop at the top!

Amanda, USA

I've never even heard of about two-thirds of the players in this year's Embassy, but I've heard of everyone except for the qualifiers in the PDC W-C. And I think Raymond would have some rather extreme difficulty in getting as far at Purfleet as he does at Frimley every year.

Maybe the Tomlin Order could be eased up a little to let the likes of Taylor, Barneveld, Part and David switch up now and then and we'll see who has the better players. My hot tip: don't bet against the PDC. You'll lose the barn and your kitchen sink in the process.
James O'Neill, Scarborough, Ontario, Canada

Sounds like the boy done well (Ritchie), but congrats to the winner Barney. Watch out, next year we'll see the Lamb Chop at the top!! Wish we could watch the final live here, not two weeks later!
Amanda, USA

Well played Barney. Definitely the best player in that field. Strange to have John Part commentating on a fairly lacklustre final. I think he could have given either player a 4-0 start to be honest.

There are good players at the Embassy but the PDC has the top three or four players and until that changes the Embassy will always feel a bit like a tournament for also-rans...
Nemo Rigby, England

Well done Barney - you're a heavyweight in the game - but please join the PDC where your mettle will be tested to its proper potential. It's OK being a big fish in a small pond, but you KNOW that the PDC has all the best players and you will never be accepted as a true World Champion.

Give Barneveld some credit, look at how many legs he took out in under 15 darts during the week

Dave, England

You're better than that Barney, your darts will improve (your average in the final was well down on even first round PDC losers!) and you'll get more exposure, especially as Holland now gets Sky live.

Please try playing the best Barney, it's what we all want to see! Good luck in whatever you decide and thanks for the money I won on the 6-3 set score :-).
Martin, England

Raymond needs to play in the PDC, that's the darts premier league. Winning the BDO title is like calling Portsmouth football champions of England.

You can win the embassy on a 93/94 average. To win the PDC title you will need to have a three-dart average of around 100-101 to beat John Part and a checkout average of 50%. And to beat Phil Taylor you will need to have a three-dart average of 107-110, and a checkout average of 55-60%.

If Barney can beat Phil and John he can call himself the best player in the world.
Andrew Cherry, England

Give Barneveld some credit. Look at how many legs he took out in under 15 darts during the week and compare it to Part/Taylor. I am sure it would compare favourably. Darts in not all about averages - Taylor had a better average than Part and still lost!
Dave, England

I must say congratulations to Raymond on winning the world title and that he can only play the people who are in front of him.

I say well done to both Barney and John Part

Martin Eastwood, England

However if he really wants to prove himself he will have to tussle with the men in the PDC, or is the magnet of the embassy gravy train to strong.

Phil Taylor is the greatest player ever and he must beat him to be recognised.
Scott Hayes, England

Congratulations Barney on winning his third real world championship. The Embassy three-dart average was well over 90 whereas the PDC average was only 88. Proof that the Embassy is the harder, the best and the only tournament to win.
Jack, Scotland

Well done to Barney. I have subscribed to Sky Sports since 1999 and so have been able to watch both darts 'tours'. I say well done to both Barney and John Part.

To my mind Barney has been the next best thing to Phil Taylor since Dennis Priestly slowly declined. This victory yesterday just keeps Barney in front of John Part who has improved so much this year.

Robert Morrell speaks of Alan Warriner who, fine dart player that he is, has not as far as I am aware won a really big conventional darts event (the World Gran Prix which Alan won in 2001 has an unique format). I would put Tony David ahead of Alan.
Martin Eastwood, England

We all can only imagine how hard it will be playing there in front of millions of people from all over the world. It was a true joy to see, the Dutch, Welsh and the English sitting next to each other without hate or trouble between 'camps'. The football supporters may learn from that!

Raymond should sit down with the entire Dutch natoinal football team and discuss how to aim properly

Jake, US (Dutch ex-pat)

Well done Ray, we Dutch are proud of you mate! Ritchie, you played well, but just came up short. Good luck in your next tournaments to the both of you.
John Meijer, The Netherlands

How can the PDC be considered the best when nearly all of the field is made up of people who cannot win anything in the Embassy, Chris Mason and Ronnie Baxter come to mind. Look at Taylor and Part, both won it once and did not return. Credit to Barney though, got a well ground-out result.
Richard Hopton, UK

Raymond should sit down with the entire Dutch natoinal football team and discuss how to aim properly when taking penalties. It's very un-Dutch to actually win a final (any kind of final, let alone three) so I am just wondering what went "right" here.
Jake, US (Dutch ex-pat)

Barney, bedankt voor al het kijkplezier dat je ons weer hebt gegeven. En uiteraard gefeliciteerd met deze mooie titel.
Henk, Holland

My congratulations go out to Barney. But my commiserations go out to Ritchie Davies. Ritchie battled so hard but Barney was just too good on the night.
Chicko, UK

Well done Ray, but you cannot seriously consider yourself as the true world champ. The PDC championship was light years ahead in terms of quality, but for sheer excitement the Embassy rules (the PDC final apart) as all the players are of a similar standard.

A shame that even the UK's dominance of a load of fat blokes in a noisy leisure centre is also a distant memory!

Munch, Wales

Taylor and Part are just too good, they would dominate either championship. Both championships should unite and have one World championship, at Frimley Green the home of darts of course. My money would be on Phil Taylor for one.
Bryan Hartnett, Ireland

Well done, but please will everyone try and unite darts. This would be the best thing for the supporters and the players. Darts is possibly on the cusp of something huge and this should not be compromised by greed and bickering.
Paul Nunan, Ireland

As England prepare to return from yet another Ashes drubbing, Schumacher gears up for another drivers championship, England face an uphill struggle to reach Euro 2004, Henman limbers up for another semi-final collapse in Wimbledon, it is a shame to see that even the UK's dominance of a load of fat blokes in a noisy leisure centre is also a distant memory!!
Munch, Wales

If Dennis Bergkamp is "The Dutch Master" then Ray Barneveld is "The Dutch Legend".
Chand, London

What a fantastic player; confident, never arrogant, love his 'double 18' check outs, a worthy champion, long may it continue!
Peter Earl-Martin, UK

I don't quite agree that Barney would fail to compete with Alan Warriner, but Taylor and Part are the best two. Nevertheless, Barney's achievement is not to be sniffed at and the backing he receives from the fabulous Dutch support should not go unmentioned.

A word too for ladies champ Trina Gulliver, she has never lost a match at Frimley Green you know.
Liam, Birmingham, England

Great to see Barney get his title back; well done!

Daniel, UK

Well done Barney, you have shown in the past to be a great champion and I'm sure you will again! One other thing, wouldn't be nice if the PDC and the BDO could get their act together so we could have one world champ?
Dan Snow, Canada

I may be English but after seeing Barneveld tear our Mervyn King to shreds, he has definitely earned himself a place in history!
Dan Jeoffroy, England

Hey, I would just like to say congratulations to Eric "The Sherrif" for his highest check-out. We love you man!
David Van Waeyenberghe, Belgium

Great to see Barney get his title back; well done! This year's tournament has been one of the most exciting for years. There have been so many great matches, and the best player won.
Daniel, UK (London)

What a pity the final didn't quite match the semi for excitement even with the world's worst sporting excuse for losing a match. What I will say though is there is something about watching darts, esp. the semi with Barney's rhythmic style, it's oddly calming to hear the thud of tungsten into cork.

Call me odd...PS, the leg where both players opened with two maximums was fantastic...edge of the seat stuff and I'm glad I watched it. It would also be nice - as I have commented before - to see these games like the PDC on terrestrial TV - we don't all have satellite TV!
Mike Burgin, England

Well done Raymond. You have proved to everybody that you are a deserving champion. You should be nicknamed "The Flying Dutchman".
Greg, Ireland

As a darts fan, all I can say is shame on the BDO for what looks like a shabby, tired tournament. Get on the PDC bandwagon boys, more exciting, interesting, and basically "live" coverage makes a difference.

Can't blame the BBC as it does its best but Sky is so much better for dedicated sports coverage. Ray, if you want to compete go to the PDC.
Peter Kirby, UK

The Embassy has definitely a better tradition and atmosphere

Wim Donkerlo, Netherlands

Well done to Barney, not just for winning the Embassy but also for donating 20% of his prize money to charity.
Abelenstra, The Netherlands

Congratulations Barney on a well-earned third Embassy triumph. But why don't you silence the PDC brigade and take on The Power to see who's the real Ace of Darts?
Simon, UK

Congratulations to Raymond, the semi-final was the real final btw. Comparing PDC with the Embassy (I've watched both tournaments): the Embassy has definitely a better tradition and atmosphere.
Wim Donkerlo, Netherlands

Well done Barney. But I think now is the time to show how good you really are by trying the PDC route. After watching the PDC event on sky and the BDO event on the BBC there is only one true world championship. The PDC.

Tony Greene has been making excuses for the players' scores being low all week, and has the nerve to say a three-dart average of around 85 is world class (about the week's average). He also tried to say as little about the PDC event as possible. I bet John Part is annoyed.

For any person who does not watch darts they would have got an untrue picture of darts. Is this what the BBC is about? It shouldn't be. You should spend our licence fees on quality sport.
James, England

I echo other comments that Barneveld needs to 'step up' to the PDC Championship if he wants to prove himself to be one of the finest players in the game. There is a definite gulf between the two Championships at present, namely in the quality of the checkouts.

Barneveld's checkout percentage of around 30% in the final wouldn't have even come close to challenging Taylor or Part in the PDC. So come on Barney, show us what you're really made of and get yourself down to the Circus Tavern for next year's competition!
James, England

Well done Barney!! I hope you make it number four next year!

Helena Callaghan, Ireland
My sincere congratulations to Barney. He did it again! Barney played very poorly in the final but it was enough for his third victory! Absolutely world-class!! Also my congratulations to Ritchie. He didn't play as well as he can but he can look back to a very successful championship!
Danny "Flipje" Wentholt, The Netherlands

Many congratulations to Barney. It was fantastic to see him win a third Embassy title. There is no doubt that he is the best in his field (ignoring the PDC) and this was just another example of it. Who's to say that this won't be the start of a few in a row? He's good enough, he loves the Embassy and he's always up for it, so why not?!
Simon, UK

Ray Barneveld is the only decent player in the BDO field and was a worthy winner. However, from a viewer's point of view, the BDO needs looking at as the look of the tournament is very dated. Seeing old ladies doing the scoring was embarrassing. There are no characters in the game any more, the Bristows etc.

The good players have left the BDO and have joined the better PDC team. The only way Ray can prove himself is to defect to the PDC where he will play quality opponents. I bet John Part would relish the chance of a head to head final with Ray Barneveld to declare once and for all who the REAL darts champion is.
Sheila Blackery, UK

Well done to Barney, although the final was not exactly high quality.
Phil, Netherlands

Congratulations Barney, you held your nerve after an excellent comeback by Davies. But the big question is why isn't there a joint PDC and BDO world championship? Because I would like to see Barney pit his wits against John Part or Phil Taylor.
Paul Hitch, UK

Well done to Raymond "a worthy champion". The leg in the semi final against King when both players hit consecutive maximums was sensational just a pity neither could get the nine darter, but it was darts of the highest calibre. Superb stuff!!
Robert McAllister, Scotland

Barney was the best player all week his performance in the semi against Mervin King was simply awesome so it was a thoroughly deserved win. On this form he'll give the Power a top game and win. Come on Barney!
Tom Craven, England

Well done Barney!! I hope you make it number four next year!
Helena Callaghan, Ireland

Congratulation Barney, you did it again. I wish we could see the game live from Canada.
Bob Horan, Canada

Perhaps not a quality final, but respect due to Barneveld for a composed and calmly fought final. Everytime Ritchie came at him I'd see him launch into his next leg with a 180. He was efficient and pretty much untroubled; looked like he could have thrown those darts all night with the same consistency.
Howard, UK

My compliments to Ritchie for his fight

Addie, Netherlands

Congratulations to Barney for a fantastic achievement of three Embassy's. And well done to Ritchie Davies too for not giving in.

But I can't help but think that if Phil Taylor or John Part with a likely 4-0 sets lead over Ritchie Davies they would have really destroyed Davies with a clinical 6-0 whitewash. And on the evidence of Barney after stumbling bit from 4-0 to a 4-3 sets lead that he would have struggled badly against a Part or Taylor upping the pace after the fourth set.
David, Scotland

Well done Barney, but face facts, the Embassy does not have the players, if you want to be the best; I suggest you defect to the PDC. That tournament has the big boys in it.

You averaged around 93 or 94. That's not good enough to beat a Part, Taylor, or Warriner. That average is equivalent to Phil Taylor playing poorly and yet he'd still beat you. Remember getting whipped by Taylor in a so-called 'Champions Trophy'?
Robert Morrell, Inverness, Scotland, UK

My compliments to Ritchie for his fight. But as a Dutchman, I am glad Raymond won the title. It is a typical Dutch sports handicap to be so clear in front of a game and afterwards stay behind with empty hands. Did somebody ever checked out Barney's passport?
Addie, Netherlands

Ritchie should be very proud of himself. I play for a ladies dart team, and see Ritchie as my inspiration, especially after meeting and playing the guy last Xmas. A true gent and a fab darts player to boot!
Nicola, Wales

The Part vs Taylor final was played to a standard the Embassy will never see

Martin, Wales

It is such a shame that the darts organisations cannot amalgamate and from one world championship. Both John Part and Raymond Van Barneveld consider themselves world champions but, similar to other sports, to have two world champions is simply farcical in my opinion.

People can discuss the merits and qualities of both tournaments, but the time has come not to have a 'PDC World Champion' and a 'BDO World Champion', but simply a 'World Champion'. But well done John Part. Well done Raymond Van Barneveld. Strive to unify the game so that the players and the public can see the true champion of the world.
Martin, Wales

Got to agree with an English man for a change. Spot on Dan! How can Barneveld feel justified in holding a 'world' title when it's obvious he would have been lucky to get past the first round in the PDC?

Credit to the Monk vs O'Shea match, good entertainment but the Part vs Taylor final was played to a standard the Embassy will never see and if you don't believe me look at the stats. The only reason it's been given any press coverage is because it's one of the only sports the BBC has left to show live.
Martin, Wales

Well done Barney!
Neil, England

I'm Welsh right through, and was gunning for Ritchie this afternoon. He fought bravely - would any other player come from 4-0 down to 4-3? I doubt it very much.

Congratulations to Ray, cracking player

Peter Standfield, Wales

In his first final, he did not disgrace himself in any way, and to beat two former champions now on the way to the final, he can walk out of the Lakeside with his head held high.

Ritchie, you've given me a lot of pleasure the last nine days watching some of the best darts by a Welshman for absolute ages (not forgetting the other Welsh competitors that have played in the last few years). Thank you Lamb Chop.

Congratulations to Ray, cracking player. To win the championship once - well done. To do it for a second time - awesome. But for a third, just purely superb. Well done Raymond van Barneveld.
Peter Standfield, Wales

Yabba-dabba-doo- Barney...nice one!! Been with you all the way dude. Congratulations and see you next year for a fourth! All the best from Scotland.
Vinni, Scotland

What planet are some of you on? The match between John Part and Phil Taylor was light years ahead in terms of quality and entertainment. Congrats to Barney for topping the B list, but if he wants to be considered a top player he really has to have a crack at the PDC championship.
Dan, England

I have just watched the final and I'm very happy to say it was Barney all the way!!
Lynne Geraeds, Netherlands

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