James Willett fires to claim third straight national championship

Border shooter James Willett has continued his excellent run in double trap competition by claiming his third straight national title at Echuca this week.

Willett took out both the ISSF Commonwealth and National double trap championships as he eyes a place on the Australian team for the Commonwealth Games in April.

The 22-year-old revealed it will most likely be the last time he shoots double trap at nationals, with his focus to shift to the single trap discipline after April, due to a change to the Olympic shooting program.

Double trap will be replaced by a mixed teams event at the Tokyo Games in 2020, leaving single trap and skeet as the two individual disciplines.

“I was pretty pleased to come away with the third one and finish off the double trap well,” Willett said.

“My aim is obviously to get up to the Commonwealth Games in April and keep the consistency till then before I get back into single trap.

“I’m focusing on the double trap now rather than trying to shoot two disciplines, but then I’ll focus on the single.

“I shot both last year and finished up third in the single trap selection for the Commonwealth Games, but the top-two go through.

“I’m hoping to keep shooting well and get to the world championships later in the year.”

Willett won the Commonwealth event by shooting 138 out of 150 and 72 out of 80 in the finals in blustery conditions.

He backed it up with 139 out of 150 in the National Double Trap Championship, including 76 out of 80 in the finals.

“It was the first event of the year, so it was a good start,” Willett said.

“Pretty much everyone that is shooting around Australia came to Echuca and all the athletes in the running for the Commonwealth Games were there.

“They didn’t have any overseas competitors this year, but it wasn’t too bad of a turnout for the nationals.

“It was the first time they’ve been held at Echuca, so it made it a little bit tricky for the ones travelling from Perth that had to fly into Melbourne and drive up.

“Normally it’s held in one of the major cities, but it was good to have a bit of a change in Echuca and made it closer for us.”

Willett will hope to continue his good form when he makes the trip over to Qatar for a Grand Prix double trap event on February 15 .

James Willett ISSF Commonwealth and National double trap championships at Echuca

Image: James Willett has continued his rise in the sport by taking out the ISSF Commonwealth and National double trap championships at Echuca.

The Border Mail

Source: Border Mail
By: Beau Greenway
Picture: James Wiltshire
Date: 28 January 2018