Ready for decade of Olympics
Mulwala’s dual Olympian James Willett is back on home soil after competing in the Tokyo Olympics, an Olympics like no other.
The 25-year-old arrived back on Australian soil on August 3 and quarantined at Howard Springs in Darwin for 14 days, finally being back on the family property Shellford on August 18.
In a world first regarding Olympic Games, the coronavirus sweeping the world meant a postponement of Tokyo’s 2020 Olympic Games. Many believed this year’s games would not go ahead.
But despite many instances of 2,000 to 3,000 Covid cases a day being experienced in the games’ host city, the most prestigious event proceeded this year, from July 23 to August 8, with Willett competing in individual trap on July 28 and 29, and mixed trap team on July 31.
He was full of praise for everyone involved in seeing the Tokyo Olympics proceed and the manner in which everything was conducted. That smooth organisation involved 33 sports at 339 events across 42 venues.
“The AOC (Australian Olympic Committee) did such a good job with everything, the building in the village making for a good environment, plenty of food. You always felt safe in the village. We remained vaccinated, wearing masks.
“There were activities to do exercises, with the latest equipment. There were interview interpreters, zoom sessions, emails every day. It was highly regulated. It was just great organisation.”
Currently the Paralympics are being held, having started on August 24 and due to be completed on this Sunday, September 5.
Willett, who finished fifth in the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics, is watching the Paralympics and is pleased to see Australia represented in shooting. “We’re represented in rifle and pistol. We have three athletes which is good.”
Australia’s brilliant trap shooter’s performance in Tokyo would have won a medal in Rio, such was the extremely high standard of shooting at Japan’s Asaka Shooting Range this year.
“I felt like I shot good but you’ve got to shoot great – you just couldn’t afford to miss any targets at all,” he said.
“Mine wasn’t quite enough. We got close in the teams event (with Laetisha Scanlan), only a couple of targets away from a medal. It was a good experience and I’ve taken a lot from it.”
James’ dad Arthur, a good shooter himself, praised his son’s second Olympic event. “He did extremely well for reasons of Covid and