Gerwyn Price wearing ear defenders
Gerwyn Price won the World Championship in 2021

World number one Gerwyn Price is out of the World Darts Championship after a heavy defeat by Gabriel Clemens in the quarter-finals.

Clemens beat Price 5-1 to make history as the first German player to reach the semi-final stage.

Price took to the oche wearing ear defenders in the fifth set in an attempt to drown out the crowd noise.

Michael van Gerwen, Michael Smith and Dimitri van den Bergh join Clemens in the final four.

Despite Price winning the opening set with two ton-plus checkouts, Clemens played some superb darts to advance to the final four.

“I think I made a really good game and I’m really happy,” said Clemens. “I think it’s amazing for darts in Germany.”

Price, 37, stunned the crowd by donning ear plugs covered by black ear defenders late in the contest, the Welshman previously revealing he had been wearing them when practising in an effort to quieten the boos and whistles from the crowd at Alexandra Palace.

The former rugby player took to Instagram after the match to describe the defeat as “so frustrating”, adding that he’s not sure he will play in the event again.

Three-time winner Van Gerwen progressed after a 5-0 victory over England’s Chris Dobey.

Van Gerwen has won four major titles already this year and only dropped three legs in the match.

“I feel good, I feel comfortable,” the 33-year-old said after the match. “It was phenomenal with the crowd behind me.”

Earlier, Smith and Van den Bergh moved into the last four with 5-3 victories in their quarter-finals.

Smith – the beaten finalist last year – ousted fellow Englishman Stephen Bunting, while Belgium’s Van den Bergh knocked out Welshman Jonny Clayton.

It is the first time Van den Bergh, 28, has reached a world semi-final.

Clayton, 48, led by one set three times in his quarter-final, but was repeatedly pegged back by Van den Bergh.

The Belgian, who won the World Matchplay in 2020, eventually moved ahead in the seventh set and wrapped up the match in the eighth.

“I’m feeling like I’m one step closer to making my dreams come true,” Van den Bergh – the first Belgian to reach a world semi-final – said after the match.

“It was a real battle, but I managed to pull through.”

Smith, who won the Grand Slam of Darts in November, raced to a 4-1 set lead in the second quarter-final.

Bunting fought back to close the gap to one but Smith, 32, won the eighth set to reach the semi-finals for the third time in his career.

“I managed to dig deep when I needed it and I managed to fall over the line and still get the win,” he said.

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