Selection locked and loaded.

It was only a formality but Shotgun trap shooter James Willett was formally advised last Friday of his selection for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, now to be held in July 2021.

And with the coronavirus pandemic worldwide preventing regular, proper preparation by many competitors, that won’t be the case with the well-known Mulwala and Corowa sportsman.

“Obviously it’s a unique situation with the team announcement so far out – a year and a bit – and that’s not going to change so that’s a relief,” 24-year-old Willett told the Yarrawonga Chronicle.

“And obviously I’ve got an advantage being able to train on our property.”

As detailed in the Yarrawonga Chronicle on April 8, the second-time Olympian used to have to train in Melbourne or Sydney. Some training was done on the family farm to accommodate his Double Trap discipline, a discipline removed from the Olympics in 2016.

However, a most impressive combined Olympic Trap and Olympic Skeet layout was constructed over five months from last November.

“We already had the skeet installed on our range but have now upgraded it and superimposed it with an Olympic Trap,” Willett said at the time.

“The range is of the same standard across the world and set up the same, so I can train on the range and replicate the same targets we shoot everywhere.

“It is fully electronic and automatic so once the clay target machines are set and loaded with targets, it is all voice activated the same as any competition across the globe.”

The Australian Olympic Committee officially selected 15 shooting athletes to the Australian Olympic Team for the Tokyo Olympics.

After competing in four nomination trial events from January to March 2020, the 15 athletes were nominated by Shooting Australia and officially selected by the AOC today.

“Congratulations to the fifteen athletes selected today to continue Australia’s rich Olympic legacy in the sport of Shooting,” Australia Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman Mr Chesterman said last Friday.

“This is a day to celebrate not just for the athletes selected, but their families, friends, supporters, coaches, trainers, the state and Australian Institutes of Sport and the entire Shooting community who have helped make them the athletes and people they are today.

“I also want to thank Shooting Australia for its tireless work to develop such immense talent and depth across the Olympic Shooting disciplines.”

Shooting Australia CEO Luke van Kempen also paid tribute to the athletes on their Tokyo Olympic selection.

“Olympic Team athletes now have the certainty of selection and they can now direct their singular focus on training and preparing for the commencement of the Tokyo Olympics in July 2021. We will be working hard with them all to ensure they are in top form at the end of an extended preparation period.”

Shooting at Tokyo will consist of Shotgun (Trap and Skeet), Pistol (10m Air, 25m Rapid Fire Pistol and 25m Sports Pistol) and Rifle (50m 3-Positions and 10m Air Rifle) events. Tokyo will also see the Olympic debut of Mixed Team events in Trap, 10m Air Pistol and 10m Air Rifle.

“There are no domestic events planned because of the coronavirus but I can focus on the Tokyo Olympics and make the most of what we have here on the farm,” Willett said.

James pictured competing in the 2016 Rio Olympic

Image: James with his trophies at the National championships in Echuca recently.

Source: Riverine Herald
By: Robert Muir
Date: 21 April 2020