The third Shotgun event of the ISSF World Cup Stage 1 in New Delhi (IND) crowned another young Australian, as Double Trap Men shooter James Willett (21) doubled the Gold medal pocketed by women’s Trap athlete Penny Smith on February 24th.
At the Dr. Karni Shooting Range, Willett took an early lead in the match by crushing all of his first 36 targets, but gradually lost ground to India’s Ankur Mittal (24) and found himself tied with his rival after 30 doubles, when the two of them were the only remaining shooters in the match.
There the Indian missed three hits in a very short span of time, while Willett shot with great precision and found himself sitting on a consistent gap with only five doubles remaining. The Australian athlete managed his advantage wisely, maintaining the lead and collecting the Gold medal with 75 hits, against Mittal’s with 74.
“The crowd was pretty passionate at the range,” Willett said after the medal ceremony. “They had a member of their team among the finalist so there was a lot of clapping and cheering. The atmosphere was good and also the weather conditions were quite nice.”
“I’ll keep competing in Double Trap this year, I’ll try to be at the top for the World Championship and for the Commonwealth Games,” added the Gold medalist.
“I’ll soon switch to Trap,” he concluded, talking about his plans for the mid-future.
On the third step of the podium, competing in a final match for the first time in his senior career, climbed James Dedman. The 18-year-old, who participated here in his third ISSF World Cup, finished with a score of 56 hits, missing a crucial target in his third-to-last double and marking a new Junior World Record in this event.
Dedman was followed by his more experienced teammate Steven Scott (32), who placed in 4th position with 46 targets.
The British shooter, Bronze medalist at last year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro (BRA), previously avoided the elimination by completing an almost perfect fourth series, where he crushed 9 out of 10 targets, overtaking Italy’s 26-year-old Alessandro Chianese who then closed in 5th position with 36 hits.
India’s second final participant Sangram Dahiya (27), a first-time final participant, was the first shooter to be eliminated from the match after the 15th double. He concluded in 6th position with 24 hits.