By David McPherson
James Willett is setting his sights on qualifying for both the trap and double trap events in next year’s Commonwealth Games.
Willett admits he was shocked when he found out the double trap event was being removed from the Olympic program but when the dust settled he got back to work and honed in on both formats.
“In the last couple years just leading up to Rio I just shot double trap – at that stage double trap was always going to be in,” he said.
“Since they took double trap out I’ve started to shoot both events.”
The dual focus has meant Willett has been spending longer on the range.
“The shooting load has obviously increased trying to balance both loads now to try and maximise both events. It’s a little bit challenging but going well at the moment,” he said.
Willett says that while the two events are similar, they have their subtle differences.
“Both are shooting clay targets – double trap has two targets in the air at once and trap only has one target in the air,” he said.
“We get one shot at each target in double trap… in trap you get two shots at one target but the targets are a little bit quicker and [at] harder angles.”
“The gun’s a little bit different as well – we have to swap between two different guns.”
Willett is upbeat about his ability to make the transition.
“At the end of the day it’s still shooting clay targets so you’ve just got to have a different mindset in both of them.”
The Victorian shooter is currently competing in both events at the ISSF World Shotgun Championships in Moscow.
“This will be the last ever world championships for my main event which is the double trap and I’m going in world number one. Obviously I hope to win the overall there,” Willett says.
“I made both events in the world champs teams so that was one of my goals for this year. The next goal is to make both in the Commonwealth Games.”
Willett is tracking well for GC2018 selection.
“We’ve had three out of the five qualifying events so far. They’ve gone pretty well so far so I’m pretty happy and I’ll try and finish off the last two pretty strong.”
“I’m looking forward to having more family and friends there to be able to watch. It will be nice because we always go away and most of the time we’re on our own. I didn’t have the family and friends in Rio so it will be nice to go to a big event like the Commonwealth Games and have them there.”