Shooters James Willett and Gaye Shale ready to fire at Commonwealth Games

North-East training partners James WIllett and Gaye Shale will shoot for gold in double trap at the Commonwealth Games in April.

Willett and Shale, who live about 50-kilometres from each other between Mulwala and Rutherglen, have been selected in a 28-member Australian side.

“It’s great we both made it,” Willett said.

“Gaye comes out home to train a fair bit and we’ve known each for a few years now through shooting.

“Hopefully she comes out of it with a medal and shoots well at the Games.”

Willett stands as one of the favourites for the double trap gold medal after winning Shooting Australia’s Male Shooter of the Year award for the third successive year.

He will fine tune with a final shoot at Qatar later this month.

“Obviously it’s great the official announcement is out now,” he said.

“Qatar should be good.

”The local shooters over there are pretty strong in double trap.

“I think the Italians will go and support it.

“We might get some of the Commonwealth countries there as well.

“I think it will be a good shoot and then I’ll get back here to get in some more training.

“I’ll put the work in to do my best and try and get the gold medal.”

Willett clinched a third straight national title at Echuca earlier this month, with the Border shooter set to turn to the single trap discipline after April due to a change to the Olympic shooting program.

Fellow Border competitor Shane Pinner narrowly missed selection in double trap, with officials opting for only one competitor in the category.

Willett said Pinner was unlucky after posting some strong results over the past 12 months.

“They only ended up going with one in double trap, so Shane missed out which is disappointing,” he said.

“He’s going to keep training with me which is really good of him.”

Seven members of the Australian team are under the age of 20 — including Tori Rossiter, 15.

Pistol shooter and 2014 Glasgow gold medallist David Chapman has been named for his fourth Commonwealth Games and second on home soil, following Melbourne 2006.

Australia’s most-famous sporting shooter, Michael Diamond, was not in contention for Gold Coast after his selection hopes were dashed last year by three firearms convictions – although he was acquitted of them all in October.

Events will take place at the Belmont Shooting Complex in Brisbane – one of only two Commonwealth Games sports not to be staged on the Gold Coast.

“It will be good being here, particularly with the food and travel,” Willett said.

James Willett is set to use his Olympic Games experience to hold him in good stead at the Commonwealth Games

Image: James Willett is set to use his Olympic Games experience to hold him in good stead at the Commonwealth Games.

The Border Mail

Source: Border Mail
By: Brett Kohlhagen
Date: 1 February 2018