James Willett sets new single trap record at Tasmanian Gun Club

ON TARGET: Double trap world champion James Willett competed at Evandale's Tasmanian Gun Club on Sunday. Picture: Phillip Biggs
ON TARGET: Double trap world champion James Willett competed at Evandale's Tasmanian Gun Club on Sunday. Picture: Phillip Biggs

Sharpshooters were in ample supply at the Tasmanian Gun Club over the weekend as a pair of Olympians set their sights on Evandale. 

Double trap world champion James Willett and single trap world record holder Nidal Asmar led a group of seven interstate athletes who competed in the Olympic discipline state championships, which helped select state representative teams for single trap and double trap events.

Twenty-one-year-old Willett, who has recently shifted his focus to the single trap after double trap was slashed from Olympic and international events, showed his pedigree by shooting 122/125 to set a new single trap state record.

Lebanon-born shooter Nidal Asmar, who claimed an equal world record in 2007 by shooting a perfect 125/125, finished in second place with 120/125.

Daniel Dipietro took third place with a 119/125 effort, edging out fellow Victorian Todd Malone who finished with 118/125.

Tasmanian Gun Club secretary Alan Styles said both interstate visitors and Tasmanian shooters had given a good account of themselves at the championships.

“It was a privilege to have this group of skilled competitors attend our carnival,” Styles said.  

“One of our local shooters, John Foster, who has not actually competed for two years managed to make a spot in the top six of 28 shooters. 

“Stewart French was just two outside the top six as well.”

Foster and French were joined by Bernie Smith as the only shooters to qualify for both the single trap and double trap teams. 

Styles forecasted changes to next year’s championships after weather conditions and a high number of entries kept the club from holding a proper medals match.

“The club will try to hold future annual state Olympic discipline championships later in the year in better weather.

“With the advantage of longer days to handle more competitors (and) the demise of the double trap event, we are also likely to hold the single trap championships as a two-day event, allowing us to effectively cater for almost twice as many competitors.”

Eleven shooters took part in the double trap event on Saturday, while a field of 28 competed in Sunday’s single trap. 

State teams:

  • Single trap: John Foster, Bernie Smith, Stewart French, Stuart Browning, Brendan Callaghan, David Martin.
  • Double trap: Stewart French, Kyle Booth, Bernie Smith, Steve Webb, John Foster, Jim Briggs.