Mulwala Olympic clay shooter James Willett was chuffed after being chosen to run with the Queen’s baton in Yarrawonga next February in connection with the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
To be chosen to carry the baton in his hometown was surprising according to James.
“I was a little bit surprised as I had heard that the baton would be going around the country and between towns and I thought it would be a great honor and opportunity to be one of the baton bearers,” James said.
“It feels great to have been chosen especially this time with the Commonwealth Games being on Australian soil, it makes it even more exciting and because sport is a huge part of my life and representing my country overseas at major events right across the world is something I love doing.”
James was nominated in recognition of his sporting achievements on a world stage and the pride his hometown has in him.
James has previously competed in the Commonwealth and Olympic Games coming away from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games with a 5th placing and an Olympic record in the Double Trap.
He is hoping to compete in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games next year with preparations for the qualifiers going according to plan.
“I am working towards qualifying for the 2018 games at the moment with my preparations going well and doing what I can to make it at home,” James said.
Competitors of the varying shooting events have just completed their fourth selection event in Sydney at the NSW ISSF Titles.
“I was the overall winner of the men’s double trap and remain at the top in this event going into the last selection event in early December,” James said.
“I’m hopeful of making it especially when the games are on home-soil in Australia.
“Nothing would be better than having a home crowd behind me.”
He shared the exciting news of being selected as a Commonwealth Games Batonbearer with mum Dionne, dad Arthur, sister Marnie and girlfriend Amy Barnes.
After hearing of his selection James made his way to India to compete in the ISSF World Cup Final in the mens double trap event before making his way to Brisbane for the Oceania and Commonwealth Games test event being held in early November.
Approximately 3800 Australians will carry the Queen’s Baton on its 100-day journey across the nation in the lead up to the games with 12 Yarrawonga residents selected for the local stretch of the relay.
The torch will visit Yarrawonga on February 15, 2018.