Clarke hunts AISK ClayFeva crown
Shayne Fairman, Sunday Gleaner Writer
Having earned the champion boy crown in fine style at last November's Digicel Cup 2014-Inter-School Clay Challenge, Nicholai Clarke now has his eyes firmly set on taking top spot when the country's best junior shooters face-off at the American International School of Kingston (AISK)/ClayFeva tournament today.
The tourney, which is at its fifth renewal, will begin at 10:30 a.m., at the Jamaica Skeet Club, located at the Portmore Range in St Catherine.
Patrons can expect a day of intense sharp-shooting and fiercely competitive rivalries, with talented juniors seeking nothing less than top honours for their schools.
"I feel quite confident going into competition, but I know there will be a lot of competition," Clarke told The Sunday Gleaner on Friday, while he trained.
"I am currently preparing for Sunday (today)," he continued, while noting he was positive and ready to give his best for his school Hillel.
"If I win, I will be very happy. I am going there to do my best and have fun," he assured.
Clarke noted that he is expecting a stern challenge from schoolmate Brandon Reid, while adding that Nicholas Chen, Jake Therrien and D'Andre Simpson will be big tests.
Meanwhile, Khaleel Azan president/coach of the Jamaica Skeet Club, expects the course to pose a challenge for the less experienced shooters given that all participants will be shooting from the same stations.
"The beginners (B class) will have some of the youngest shooters ever to compete in a tournament, which is great for the sport," he underscored.
But while Azan expects a competitive day, he assessed that it would be difficult to predict winners of the respective classes.
"I am expecting keen competition and close margins in every class," he stressed.
The coach added that it will come down to mental toughness and who wants it more on the day, while noting that today's shoot will give him a proper assessment of all the shooters.