Relieved that he has been confirmed in the Australian team and that the Games are still going ahead. And ready to aim for gold after placing fifth in Rio in 2016. The Australian Olympic Committee officially announced the 15-strong Australian shooting delegation on Friday.
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The Mulwala local placed first in the qualifiers just before the coronavirus restrictions came into force, so he was not surprised to be selected in the team. But he said being chosen so far out from the games meant the pressure was on. We never would have thought we’d be preparing for an Olympic a year and a half out, so it’ll be a challenge.
It has never happened before in a shooting team, generally, only three to four months out the team would be declared. But the 24-year-old said there were positives to the early selection. We get to emphasis on the games now with a long period of training time and competition time confidently, if everything goes back to normal.
Timing has so far been on Willett’s side. He has been able to continue training at the state-of-the-art shooting range on the family farm at Mulwala on the New South Wales side of the Murray River. And on the back of the qualifiers before the coronavirus lockdown.
The shotgun specialist’s training ground was completed this year with specialist equipment and people from Europe. Construction on the full-sized trap shooting range — with 15 clay target machines in a 20-meter underground bunker — started in November. But Willett said he was not training too hard this far out from the Olympic.
I’m taking it a little bit easy at the moment, just treating it as a little bit of a break. The family, with the help of some sponsorship, has spent about $250,000 on the facility. Willett was unsure if it could prove to be his secret weapon. We’ll find out in about a year and a half but I’ll be putting my best foot forward.