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Mirfield teen is world champion and has sights set on 2020 Olympics

Mirfield marksman James Dedman has done the double

The champion! James Dedman celebrates after winning his first gold medal in shooting.

Mirfield marksman James Dedman has done the double.

The 19-year-old from Upper Hopton is now reigning World and European champion in the double trap category of the International Shooting Sport Federation Junior World Cup Shotgun, which involves firing lead pellets from a shotgun at two moving clay targets.

James, ranked number 14 in the world in his category, flew the flag for Great Britain in the Double Trap Men Junior event as part of the Junior World Cup held by the ISSF in Porpetto, Italy.

He ruled the final match of the Double Trap Men Junior event from the very start, eventually finishing with 70 hits and the Gold medal around his neck. He already holds three Junior Silver medals and a World Cup Bronze.

(L-R) Silver medalist Miki Ylonen of Finland, Gold medalist James Dedman of Great Britain and Bronze medalist Shapath Bharadwaj of India pose with their medals after the Double Trap Men Junior Final at the Shooting Center Porpetto during Day 4 of the ISSF Junior World Cup Shotgun on August 20, 2017 in Porpetto, Italy

What’s more he also set a new Junior World Record, beating the 56 he scored at this year’s World Cup stage in New Delhi in India.

Finland’s Miki Ylonen took Silver followed by 15-year-old Shapath Bharadwaj from India, who secured Bronze.

Mirfield shotgun ace James Dedman has Olympic success in his sights

James has been shooting competitively for four years and previously was coached by London 2012 Gold medallist Peter Wilson. Now dad Simon, himself a 40-year veteran of the sport, has taken over and will accompany James to further competitions in India and Thailand next month.

“It’s feels absolutely amazing to be world champion,” said James.

Gold medalist James Dedman of Great Britain competes in the Double Trap Men Junior Final

“The gold medal is part of it but the title is the best part. A friend told me, ‘Welcome to the World Championship Club!’ and that feels the coolest of all.

“You don’t think about medals when you’re shooting. I just shoot as I would normally. It’s not you versus another person. It’s you versus the targets: keep shooting and get as many as you can.”

James’s proud mum Julie said: “We have a world champion in Hopton!”

Mirfield marksman James dedman competing in Porpetto in Italy.

And equally proud dad Simon, who travelled with James to Italy, said James had sacrificed a huge amount to become champion.

“I pale into insignificance next to him. He’s so good that he can shoot the targets before I even see the blooming things.

“He’s given up a lot. He doesn’t go out drinking like other lads his age. He trains and trains and trains. We are very, very proud of him.”

As of January 2018 double trap shooting will not form part of the Olympics line-up so James is planning on returning to the normal trap discipline. Watch out for him at Tokyo in 2020.

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