Yellowknife’s Melissa Clark has raised the bar even higher for NWT athletes at the Canada Winter Games.
After a record-setting performance from the territory’s female speed skaters in Prince George earlier this week, Clark has set a new benchmark for NWT target shooters.
The 15-year-old finished 7th among competitors from across the country in the female portion of the individual air rifle event Wednesday.
“Her performance far exceeded expectations,” said Conrad Schubert, coach of the territory’s air rifle shooters. “The highest that we’d ever placed in Winter Games competition prior to this was quite a ways down.
“No NWT competitor has ever made it to the final stage for the air rifle or air pistol events. Melissa is an incredibly composed and calm young woman. I think everyone deals with the pressure but Melissa dealt with it beautifully and shot like a real champion.”
Clark, who finished third in the qualifying round, was noticeably disappointed with her performance in the final when she spoke to Moose FM.
“I think I could’ve done better but I guess [my performance] was pretty good in the end.”
“I felt a little bit nervous after I realized I’d be in the final. I wasn’t incredibly surprised to be in the final but I was very happy.
“[The final] was also a lot more difficult because people were cheering and yelling while I was trying to shoot. Most of the competitions I go to people don’t do that.”
Live webcasts: Canada Games TV
View: Medal Standings
Clark told Moose FM her shooting days are far from over and that she hopes to represent the territory again.
Team NWT target shooters Liam Wilford and Mary Cairns will wrap up competition on Thursday in the individual air pistol event.
Congrats to Melissa Clark on a 7th place finish in the individual air rifle competition! #GONTGO
— TeamNT (@GoTeam_NT) February 18, 2015