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Darts roundup: Michael Van Gerwen moves joint top of Premier League

Darts roundup: Michael Van Gerwen moves joint top of Premier League
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Dimitri Van Den Dimitri Van den Bergh defeated league leader Nathan Aspinall earlier on Thursday evening.

Michael Van Gerwen moved level on points with Dimitri Van Den Bergh and Nathan Aspinall at the top of the Premier League following victory over Jonny Clayton.

Five-time champion Van Gerwen avenged the defeat suffered to Welshman Clayton on the final night of phase one of the competition by securing an 8-5 success in Milton Keynes.

Clayton claimed the first break of the match to lead 2-1 but a fired up Van Gerwen immediately hit back with brilliant 117 checkout and did not look back.

The Dutchman closed out victory in style by pinning the bull for a 124 finish to retain second spot, sandwiched between Aspinall and Van Den Bergh, who also have 15 points following their meeting earlier on Thursday evening.

Aspinall clung on to top spot on leg difference only after suffering an 8-6 defeat to his fellow high-flier.

Despite averaging a shade lower than his opponent's 103.33, tournament debutant Van Den Bergh did enough to bounce back from being demolished 8-3 by Van Gerwen on Wednesday evening.

Dimitri Van Den Bergh is one of three players locked on 15 points at the top of the Premier League table
Dimitri Van Den Bergh is one of three players locked on 15 points at the top of the Premier League table (Zac Goodwin/PA)

The third-placed Belgian broke Aspinall's throw in leg three and, after having missed a dart for the match, held his nerve in the deciding leg to take both points on offer.

Elsewhere at the Marshall Arena, Gary Anderson averaged almost 105 as he despatched an out-of-sorts Peter Wright in the battle of the bottom two.

Two-time champion Anderson boosted his play-off hopes with a resounding 8-3 victory over his fellow World Cup-winning Scot.

Defeat for Wright leaves him propping up the table, albeit with five matches of phase two still to play, with Anderson leapfrogging him into seventh spot.

Earlier in the evening, James Wade mounted a stunning comeback to share the spoils with Jose De Sousa.

The 2009 winner looked set to slip to a second successive defeat after falling 6-2 behind.

But he rallied, and with the help of three 180s in the 11th leg, escaped with a 7-7 draw against the Portuguese.

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Jonny Clayton pictured in 2015
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Today's Olympic highlights header

Friday's key events


ATHLETICS
· The athletics schedule begins, with 100m sprinter Dina Asher-Smith among the names in action on the opening day. The men's 10,000m final concludes the action, with Team GB's Sam Atkin and Marc Scott taking part in the absence of 2012 and 2016 champion Sir Mo Farah (1am-2.30pm)

ROWING
· Victoria Thornley is Team GB's representative in the women's single sculls final (1.33am)
· Great Britain will be going for gold in the men's eight final (2.25am)

SWIMMING
· Team GB duo Molly Renshaw and Abbie Wood take part in the women's 200m breaststroke final, but new Olympic record-holder Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa is the hot favourite (2.41am)
· Luke Greenbank has very realistic ambitions of picking up a medal in the men's 200m backstroke final (2.50am)
· There is also British representation in the women's 100m freestyle final, although any medal for Anna Hopkin would be a surprise (2.59am)
· With one gold and one silver already under his belt at these Games, Duncan Scott goes again in the men's 200m individual medley final (3.16am)

TRAMPOLINE
· Bryony Page will be looking to repeat her 2016 heroics in the women's event (5am-7.30pm)

CANOE SLALOM
· Bradley Forbes-Cryans will be looking to emulate Rio gold medallist Joe Clarke in the men's kayak event (6am-9am)

FOOTBALL
· The women's tournament enters the quarter-finals, with Great Britain facing Australia at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium (10am)

> Today's schedule in full
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