Clay target shooter joins elite club
Tuesday, 4th March, 2014
By By Ethan James
It’s a blazer that admittedly won’t be worn too often but that doesn’t dilute its significance.
The dark blue jacket belongs to Broken Hill sharpshooter Darryn Nicholls who received it upon induction into the South Australian Clay Target Association Hall of Fame in Adelaide recently.
“It’s probably not something I’ll wear all that often ... but it’s definitely a nice jacket,” Nicholls said.
“But it was quite all quite overwhelming, it’s a pretty select bunch.”
While the Halls of Fame of other sports are usually selected by a panel and take into account the intangibles such as sportsmanship, Nicholls’ criteria for induction was quite cut and dried.
Hall of Famers must meet a strict points-based criteria - there is no opinion involved.
“It’s all done on a points score basis, you have to reach 200 points in your career to be included,” Nicholls said.
“You get 50 points for a world title, 20 for a national and ten for a state ... so you know where you stand.”
He was also presented with the SA State Presidential Medal for achievements in DTL shooting on a State, National and International Level.
Nicholls has one world title to his name, which he claimed in extraordinary circumstances in the South Africa four years ago.
He shot 897 from a maximum of 900 points but remarkably finished tied with an Irish opponent after the final shot was fired.
The pair then had a ‘shoot out’ where Nicholls held his nerve to claim the title.
“I remember the flight over, it was the first time I’d been overseas and we went via South-East Asia ... which added quite a few hours to the journey so won’t be doing that again,” he recalled.
“But I was sweating so much at the end.
“It was just going through my mind ... ‘if I get this target, I’ll be the world champion’.
“And I did.”
Nicholls flew to New Zealand last Sunday and is currently contesting the NZ National Championships in Waikato.
The nationals will then be followed by the 11th World Down-the-Line Championships on March 8 which will feature 640 competitors from across the globe.
Each competitor shoots 250 targets, with the top ten per cent progressing to the finals on March 12.
Fellow local Ross Walsh has also made the trip to New Zealand to compete in both championships.