Australia's James Willett fifth in Olympic double trap
Thursday, 11 August 2016 - 16:44
Australia's James Willett narrowly missed winning a bronze medal in the men's double trap before finishing fifth at the Rio Olympics.
Willett was involved in a three-man shoot-off with Great Britain pair Steven Scott and Tim Kneale for the right to advance to the bronze medal match at the Olympic Shooting Centre, but a single missed target was enough to relegate the 20-year-old to fifth place.
Scott eventually claimed the bronze from his fellow Briton, while Kuwaiti Fehaid Aldeehani, who was competing as an independent Olympic athlete, won gold when he defeated Italy's Marco Innocenti in the final.
Aldeehani, who also has two Oympic bronze medals in his collection, only just made it through to the semi-finals when he secured the sixth and last position.
"I was pretty happy with my first Olympics, I'm 20 years old," Willett said.
"It was a great experience today. I missed out on the medals but I'll take it home and work on it for Tokyo."
Willett arrived in Rio for his Olympic debut ranked number one in the world, a remarkable achievement considering he had only taken up the double trap event two years ago.
He has enjoyed a rapid rise since, placing fourth at last year's world championships in Lonato and winning the Rio World Cup event last April.
Willett, who hails from Mulwala in New South Wales' Riverina region, was attempting to became the first Australian to win the double trap since one of his mentors Russell Mark did so at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
Amid overcast and windy conditions, he began the competition in impressive fashion when he and Germany's Andreas Loew set a new Olympic record total of 140 in the qualification round.
Willett continued that form into the early stages of the final by shooting a perfect score through the opening six doubles but hit trouble when he missed his first targets in the seventh and eighth doubles.
He missed another in the 10th double and found himself one of four shooters in equal second place at that stage, before dropping just one target for the rest of the semi-final to finish with a total of 26.
Kneale was first up on deck in the shoot-off to move through to the bronze medal match and he nailed both targets before Willett missed his second.
Scott managed scores with both his attempts, therefore eliminating Willett from the competition.