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Willett equals world record and claims two golds at ISSF World Cup

21 March 2019

It has been an outstanding week for James Willet at the ISSF World Cup in Acapulco, Mexico, where he produced exceptional results in both men’s and mixed trap, equalling a world record and claiming two gold medals.

Willett's world record equalling feat came in the men's trap on Tuesday, when he shot a perfect qualifying round of 125/125, a score that has only been acheived 12 times in the history of the sport.

He then went on to the finals, where he secured gold by shooting an impressive 47/50. He finished well above the competition, with Egypt’s Ahmed Zaher placing second at the tournament shooting 43/50 and China's Yu Haicheng finishing with bronze at 35/50.

“Coming away with the gold medal in the men’s trap and equaling the world record was a massive achievement for me,” Willet said at the end of the finals.

“I have been training hard for this event this year and I’m glad it has paid off. I’m really looking forward to the year ahead!” 

On Wednesday, he went on to qualify for the finals of mixed trap alongside Laetisha Scanlan, who won silver at the Trap Women’s final earlier in the week. The duo won gold at the Mixed Trap Final, shooting 46/50 and sending them both back to Australia with two World Cup medals.

"For the last few months James and I have been training hard together in preparation for the World Cup,” Scanlan explained at the end of the tournament.

“After having to to fight our way into the final with a shoot-off we are thrilled to return home with gold for Australia.” 

The ISSF World Cup is a qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and Willett is looking to return to the global stage after his debut at Rio where he was favored to win gold but ended in fifth place as the result of a shoot off.  

Prior to this week’s success, Willett has earned 3 golds, a silver, and a bronze at World Cups in past years, while also holding a Junior World Record of 142/150 from his first ever World Cup event. 

This was the first World Cup of the year for Willett before he makes another appearance at the World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in early April.

Other notable Australian performances at this World Cup tournament include Mitchell Iles and Penny Smith finishing in 4th place at the Mixed Trap Final, as well as Iles shooting 120 in the qualifying round of men’s trap, coming in at 41st and Jack Wallace finishing in 68th by shooting 117.

Jaime Beairsto
olympics.com.au

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