Overnight, Australia’s James Willett secured the bronze medal in the Men’s Trap event at the Rabat, Morocco ISSF Shotgun World Cup, supporting his campaign towards a third consecutive Olympic Games.
Willett, who shot a score of 121 out of 125 targets, was the equal top qualifier with David Kostelecky (CZE) and Mohammed Al Rumaihi (QAT). Of his qualification Willett said, “Qualification was over two days. Yesterday [day one] I had a really good day shooting 74 out of 75 [targets], and then today 47 out of 50 [day two], to finish on 121 out of 125…It was a tough event but very fair so the scores weren’t super high, but high enough.” Assimilating the range in Rabat to back home, Willet said “The range felt very similar to the ranges we compete on back home…a bit of an Australian range which was nice to shoot over.”
Although already securing a place in the 6 man final, Willett entered a shoot off with Kostelecky and Al Rumaihi to determine his bib ranking. “The shoot off for bib was a little bit unexpected. I thought maybe a shoot off to make the final, so it was nice to be shooting off for bib.” With Kostelecky winning the shoot off and securing bib rank 1 for the final, Willett was pleased to secure bib 2. “I was pleased with that, but it ended up costing me the silver medal on countback when tying with David [Kostelecky] at the bronze medal elimination.”
Throughout a very close final, and a frequent change in lead, Willett reflected, “It was tough all the way and the scores were really close. I was happy with how I handled the final and just got a little bit quick towards the end and missed a couple [of targets], resulting in my elimination. But I am really happy with the end result and happy to be bringing home a bronze medal for Australia.”
Italy’s Mauro De Filippis won the gold medal, with Kostelecky winning the silver medal.
Willett’s number one supporter, wife Amy, was following her husband’s progress from their hometown in Yarrawonga, Victoria and said, “I am so pleased with James’ result as it means a lot for his preparation this year. He has sacrificed a lot to get this point and is a good lead into 2024.”
This World Cup ends a three week international tour for Willett, where he also competed in the Cairo, Egypt World Cup, where he shot a qualification score of 117 out of 125, finishing in 17th place.
Willett will now head back to Australia where he will prepare for the next domestic nomination event in Sydney (16 to 18 February) as part of the 2024 Paris Olympic team selection process.
Results can be found here.