Gout fails to stop Mark Williams progressing in Cheltenham

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Mark Williams shrugged off a bout of gout to progress at the Coral World Grand Prix in Cheltenham with a 4-2 victory over Barry Hawkins.

The three-time world champion wore a slipper on his left foot and was in obvious pain as he limped around the table to play his shots.

But the 44-year-old Welshman still overpowered former Grand Prix champion Hawkins to book a second-round clash with Neil Robertson.

“I’ve never had gout before,” Williams told ITV 4. “I’ve heard people say how painful it is and now I know, it’s unbelievable.

“You can’t get a sock on it. You’re lying in bed and can’t even have the bed sheets touch you.

“You’re screaming in pain and you can’t do anything about it.”

Gout is a form of arthritis caused by excess uric acid in the bloodstream.

But Williams said: “In the last month I’ve ate so healthy, I haven’t had one drink and no fried food.

“I’ve been eating pasta and jacket potatoes. I’ve been walking 30 miles a week playing golf and I get gout.

“So I’m just going to have a kebab tonight and get back on the Budweiser!”

In other first-round action, John Higgins beat Stuart Bingham 4-2 for a sixth successive win over the Masters champion.

Higgins’ second-round opponent will be Zhao Xintong, who overcame fellow Chinese Yan Bingtao 4-2.

Kyren Wilson beat Jack Lisowski 4-3 in a first-round nerve-jangler.

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