World Snooker Championship 2020: Jamie Clarke happy despite no fans


Llanelli’s Clarke will follow in the footsteps of the town’s most famous player, 1979 world champion Terry Griffiths
Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 31 July-16 August
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four and Red Button, with uninterrupted coverage on BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app. Full details and times.

Welshman Jamie Clarke says the lack of fans will not take the shine off his debut at the World Championship.

Clarke, 25, came through the qualifiers to secure his place at the Crucible and faces Northern Ireland’s fourth-seed Mark Allen in the first round.

But with no spectators watching because of the coronavirus pandemic, Clarke admits there are mixed emotions.

“It’s a bit of a Catch-22,” Clarke told BBC Sport Wales.

“You can look at it as sort of anti-climactic for me because I’ve qualified but on the other hand I’m still playing at the Crucible and I’m still really happy about that.

“It would have been an amazing experience to have played with all the crowd and everything that comes with it.

“But there’s nothing anyone can do about it, we’ll have to deal with it.”

Clarke, Welsh Amateur champion in 2014, overcame Joe Perry, Mitchell Mann and Sunny Akani to secure his place at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.

Llanelli’s Clarke will be following in the footsteps of the town’s most famous player, 1979 world champion Terry Griffiths.

“He’s very supportive and an all-round good guy,” Clarke added.

“We go to the same coffee house in the morning and have a good chat.

“I’ve always played in his club in Llanelli and it’s nice I’ve been able to give something back.

“I’ve played three matches already and I’m feeling quite sharp. I’ve proved I can handle the pressure in the qualifiers and the top boys are coming in cold.”

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