Mark Williams overcame an attack of gout which left him “lying on the floor screaming” to beat Barry Hawkins 4-2 in the first round of the Coral World Grand Prix.
Williams is into the last 16 at Cheltenham Racecourse and will face Neil Robertson on Thursday afternoon.
Gout, a condition which causes sudden extreme pain, struck Williams last Saturday when he tweeted it felt as if “someone has hit my big toe with a hammer.” Medication has eased the pain and he was able to compete today, aided by an exemption which allowed him to wear a soft shoe on his left foot.
The three-time World Champion was far from his best against Hawkins but showed determination as he battled into the second round. Breaks of 50 and 58 helped him to a 3-1 lead. Hawkins took a scrappy fifth frame before Williams sealed victory in the next with runs of 47 and 40.
“I didn’t think I could win but I wanted to give it a go,” said 44-year-old Williams. “Barry struggled, probably because he saw me limping around the table and it put him off.
“A couple of days ago I couldn’t stick it. I was lying on the floor screaming. I have been on the tablets since Monday and now it is ten times better. The doctor says it should clear up within the next couple of days.”
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