Handshake furore rocks darts final
GERWYN Price and Peter Wright have apologised for their behaviour during their heated PDC World Darts Championship semi-final.
Wright, known as Snakebite, beat Price, nicknamed the Iceman, 6-3 at Alexandra Palace in a match that featured several flashpoints between the pair.
The tension on stage began when Wright goaded Price after checking out 81 to win the first set, prompting the Welshman to respond by celebrating animatedly in front of his opponent after claiming the second.
🎯 Peter Wright was hardly in celebratory mood despite reaching his second World Championship final.— Sporting Life (@SportingLife) December 30, 2019
🐍 Snakebite expressed his dissatisfaction with Gerwyn Price's behaviour during his 6-3 victory that didn't even end with a handshake.
However, Price could not maintain his momentum and went down 6-3 in his first World Championship semi-final, leaving the stage without shaking Wright's hand.
Wright criticised Price after his win, saying he "didn't appreciate" his behaviour, leading Price to take to Twitter to apologise.
"I let my fans and my family down in the biggest game of my career. I've been in this position before in games but never in a World Championship semi-final," he wrote.
"I overreacted to what Peter did after set one. It might have been banter but I was so in the zone and missed a load of set darts. I wasn't ready for what he did; I will learn and everyone makes mistakes. I'm still new to this and still learning.
"I apologise to everyone who thinks I've done wrong and yeah maybe I was a bit OTT. It's a difficult place up on that stage and sometimes emotions get the better of you.
"I also apologise for not shaking his hand - it's not a rule but I should have bit my tongue and walked off. At the time I just wanted to get off the stage and get home, as you can imagine.
"I have personally apologised to Peter for my reactions. I wish Peter and Michael [van Gerwen] all the best in the final tomorrow night."
Price then shared a screenshot of a WhatsApp conversation between he and Wright, in which the Scotsman wrote: "Sorry for being a clown in the first set.
"I understand now and I shouldn't have done anything to you - sorry. I think you're class and proved to the whole world you are. I hope we can still be friends."
The thawing of tensions comes less than 12 hours after Price took to social media to accuse Wright of being "out of order".
"Before and after such an important game banter is acceptable but not during, when players are fully focused, trying to do a job having just bombed the first set," he wrote.
"I was upset with what Peter did and I think it was out of order considering the circumstances. I never settled afterwards - I was rubbish from this point onwards which cost me a World Championship final spot.
"Players know what they are doing and do this when they know there's a threat."
It's not the first time Price has snubbed a handshake.
Wade wins it! 🤖— Sky Sports Darts (@SkySportsDarts) May 2, 2019
He beats Gerwyn Price 8-4 and the Welshman is not happy as he snubs Wade's handshake! ❌🤝 pic.twitter.com/gWGjnWZh8Y
Wright will play defending champion Michael van Gerwen in the final.