Local champion and Commonwealth Games representative shooter James Willett has started his 2019 campaign off well after returning from the ACTA ISSF National Championships in Brisbane with four gold medals.
The event was held from January 14-20 with James competing in both individual events and mixed teams events for ISSF Trap.
“I won the gold medal with Laetisha Scanlan in the Commonwealth Mixed Teams event after qualifying first throughout the day and finishing first in the final,” James said.
“I then shot 119/125 in the qualifying in the Commonwealth Men’s Trap event which was third into the final.
“I had a strong final where I managed to take the gold medal with a 46/50. Qualifying events are double barrel (two shots at each target) and the final was single barrel.”
The fourth day of competition saw the National Mixed Teams trap event held where James competed with Laetisha Scanlan and the duo finished second in qualifying but fourth in the final.
The last couple of days of competition were the National Men’s Trap event where James again won the gold medal with a strong qualifying score of 121/125 which was leading into the final and 44/50+2 in the final to take the gold.
“I was equalled with another competitor and we had to go into a miss and out shoot-off where I was the winner,” James said.
James then went on to win the Overall National ISSF Trap Highgun with the highest combined score over the week of 240/250.
After having to transition to trap shooting after double trap was scrapped, James is finding his feet in his new speciality, hoping to reach the same heights he did in the event he competed for many years in.
“The transition from double trap to trap is going well with my last six months of competition scores being very strong, last year spending some time in Italy competing on a regular basis with some great shooters really helped me build some consistency in the new event,” James said.
“I am currently ranked number six in the world in the mens’ trap which is my highest so far in this event so I am aiming to build it up to where I was in double trap to number one.”
With the aim to return to number one in a new event, James has a busy couple of months ahead heading to Cyprus for his first international event for the year on February 9 to compete in the Cyprus Grand Prix in Larnaca on February 14-18.
After the Cyprus event James will then head to Qatar for the Qatar Open before returning home for a couple of weeks and then flying out again to Acapulco, Mexico for the first ISSF World Cup for 2019 before competing in the second ISSF World Cup in Al Ain and the Vic State ISSF titles to be held later this year.
“I would like to thank all of my sponsors for their ongoing support including my local sponsors CMCU, Yarrawonga Toyota and Hargraves Secured Investments,” James said.
“If anyone is interested in following my progress you can head to my Facebook and Instagram accounts.”