James Willett

Personal Details

Home town:

Mulwala

Occupation / Area of Study / Work:

Athlete

Date of birth:

23 December 1995

Sporting Details

Event(s) / Discipline:

Men's Trap & Mixed Team Trap

Coach:

Russell Mark

Olympic / Paralympic History:

2016 Rio Olympics - 5th 

2020 Tokyo Olympics 

Commonwealth Games History:

2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games - 6th 

World Championships History:

2019 Acapulco World Cup - 1st WR

Sporting Highlights:

Growing up on a farm in Mulwala, New South Wales, James Willett started competitive clay shooting at the age of 14. Introduced to the sport through school, he practiced at the Corowa Clay Target Club and quickly advanced in the rankings.    

Willett began competing in the double trap discipline at the beginning of 2015 and upstaged many of his more fancied rivals around the world during his opening year in the sport. Competing at his first-ever World Cup, he shot a junior world record in qualifying with 142/150 targets and just missed out on bronze in a shoot-off.  

Willett secured an Olympic quota position for Australia at the 2015 Oceania Championships before claiming his first World Cup victory when he won the Rio 2016 test event.  

Making his Olympic debut in Rio, Willett moved through to the semi-final after finishing tied with Germany’s Andres Low as the pair shot 140/150 to both set a new Olympic record. Willett then shot 26/30 to enter a shoot-off to get into the bronze medal match but missed on his second shot to finish the event in 5th. 

Willett bounced back at the end of 2016 season and won his maiden World Cup Final when he overcame USA’s Jeffrey Holguin 28 hits to 27 in the gold medal match.   

He finished sixth at the 2018 Commonwealth Games but was back on top in 2019 when he equalled the world record on his way to winning Trap gold at the Acapulco World Cup. The same year he achieved a No.1 ranking and with Laetisha Scanlan won Trap Team Mixed gold at the 2019 World Championships. 

Willett won the 2020 Commonwealth Championships which doubled as Australia’s first Olympic selection event. His overall performance in the four-round series put him seven points clear of nearest rival Thomas Grice and secured his Tokyo selection.

Willett is coached by Olympic gold medallist Russell Mark.  

- Australian Olympic Team

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