VINCENT VAN DER VOORT faces Brendan Dolan for a place in the quarter-finals of the PartyPoker.com World Grand Prix on Wednesday night only weeks after fearing his career was in jeopardy.
The Dutch star has revealed that his shock first round exit to Ian White in the World Matchplay this summer had been overshadowed by his own dramatic collapse only hours before the contest in Blackpool.
Van der Voort had passed out in his hotel room, and after losing to White he returned to the Netherlands and underwent extensive tests throughout the summer before being diagnosed as lactose intolerant.
He was initially told he would miss the rest of 2012, but has defied the medics by returning to action last month before seeing off Ireland’s William O’Connor in Dublin on Monday.
“I’d had a lot of problems with my back last year but as soon as I got that sorted, this came along,” revealed the Dutchman. “I hadn’t been feeling well since February but everything came to a head in Blackpool in July.
“I actually passed out in my hotel room before I played in the World Matchplay. It was the day that I played Ian White and it was very frightening for me.
“I don’t remember anything about the match – only what people have told me since.
“I was really worried about it and I went to the hospital back in Holland and they did tests and found that I was lactose intolerant.
“They told me it would be five months before I could play again, but I told them there was no chance of that because darts is my living, so we have had to create a special diet.
“I have had to bring my own food over to Ireland, like my own bread, and it’s a big challenge to eat the right food when you’re away from home.
“It’s something for me to work on and I’m trying to become better than I was before. I’m about 80 percent now and I still felt drained and tired after I played William on Monday.
“I felt very good when I came into the venue, but about 45 minutes before the game I felt tired, so I’m very happy to have won.
“People who know me may have watched it and said ‘that’s not the real Vincent’, and I have to make sure that I’m going to be more healthy and it takes time.”
Van der Voort is bidding to reach the quarter-finals of a major tournament for the first time in 18 months when he meets Dolan on Wednesday night.
“My form is good, but I need the energy and the adrenaline to perform because I’m a fast player,” he added. “My first round game went on after 11pm so it was hard for me to keep my energy levels right while I was practising.
“I’m playing Brendan at a more reasonable time and that’s good for me.”