James Willett: Olympic shooting medal hope sets sights on new Yarrawonga home

29.06.21

Olympic medal favourite James Willett has just squeezed in a chance to collect the keys to his brand new Yarrawonga home before heading to Tokyo. The gun trap shooter has a sizeable haul of gold, silver and bronze medals from World, Commonwealth and Oceanic Championships. But Willett is hoping to add Olympic gold to the […]

Olympic medal favourite James Willett has just squeezed in a chance to collect the keys to his brand new Yarrawonga home before heading to Tokyo.

The gun trap shooter has a sizeable haul of gold, silver and bronze medals from World, Commonwealth and Oceanic Championships.

But Willett is hoping to add Olympic gold to the tally when he heads to Japan as “one of the favourites, having been ranked world number one in 2019”.

“I went to Rio as favourite as well, so I know there’s a bit of pressure,” he said.

But before he takes off he’s managed to bullseye another life goal, moving into a new home with partner Amy Barnes.

The pair’s three-bedroom home in Lotus Living’s Silverwoods estate in Yarrawonga was completed earlier this week.

Olympian James Willett and girlfriend Amy Barnes at their home under construction in Yarrawonga.

“We are really looking forward to the finished home,” Willett said.

“We’ve designed it the way we wanted. There’s an al fresco outside and a bit of yard space for the dog.

“And I did 20 weeks overseas in 2019, so I’m looking forward to some time at my new home.”

And he won’t be the only athlete to spend time under the roof.

Having stayed with friends and competitors around the world, he’s expecting to return the favour when they come to visit the world-class Shelford trap and skeet shooting range added to his family’s Mulwala farm just before the pandemic hit.

Australian Olympics Trap Shooting Team members Penny Smith (right) and James Willett (left) training at Gold Coast Clay Target Club ahead of Tokyo. Picture: Mike Batterham

Australian Olympics Trap Shooting Team members Penny Smith (right) and James Willett (left) training at Gold Coast Clay Target Club ahead of Tokyo. Picture: Mike Batterham

Among them will be Willett’s coach Russell Mark OAM, who claimed gold in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, a silver in the 2000 Sydney Olympics as well as gold in the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.

“It will be a great location to host friends,” Willett said.

“And I know most of the neighbours around where we are building, so we will try to get them out for a shoot one day.”

Silverwoods golf course and Lake Mulwala frontage suits an active lifestyle shared by Willett and Ms Barnes, but also adds a bit of nostalgia for the Olympian.

Lotus Living’s Silverwoods estate in Yarrawonga is built on the site of a farm Willett’s father worked on.

“My dad worked on the farm which was subdivided into Silverwoods,” he said.

He’s expecting to spend just under 10 days at his Peter Thompson Circuit home after local builder Kennedy Homes hands over the keys next week, before heading north to a pre-Tokyo isolation camp in Queensland on July 4.

Willett will compete in Olympic trap shooting events from July 28-31 before returning to hotel quarantine.

Source: Herald Sun.

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