BENDIGO university student Emma Cox out-gunned three of Australia's top female shooters to win the women's trap event at the recent Oceania shooting championships.
The 21-year-old beat Olympic champion Suzy Balogh and World Cup medallists Laetisha Scanlan and Catherine Skinner to claim gold at the titles in Sydney in early December.
She said it was a surprise victory, given she was in the Australian team for a different event.
"I was there for the double trap and had been training pretty heavily for that," said Cox, who earlier claimed silver in her favoured discipline.
"The trap was on after that event, so I went in it just to see how I'd go - and I ended up winning."
The young gun was in fourth place after the trap qualifying rounds, but was on target when it really mattered.
Cox shot 12 out of 15 clay birds to finish ahead of Skinner and her childhood idol Balogh, setting up a gold medal shoot-off against Scanlan on December 3.
She then held her nerve, shattering 11 discs in the final to Skinner's nine.
Despite her new-found success, Cox will continue concentrating on the double trap in coming months and is in strong contention for Australia's Commonwealth Games team in the event.
She is the nation's second-ranked female double trap shooter, but there are still three selection rounds to come in Perth in January and Sydney in February before the team is announced.
Two spots are available in the team for Glasgow in her pet event and Cox, who hails from Mooroopna, said it would be a life-long dream to make it.
"I'd be ecstatic if I got in - it would be awesome."
Cox took up competitive shooting at the age of 15 and is coached by her dad, David.
She attends the Bendigo Clay Target Club but also travels weekly to Werribee because there are no mechanical target throwers in this region suitable for her double trap training.
While trap shooting involves firing a shotgun at single clay targets launched , double trap shooters take aim at two targets released simultaneously.
Cox has just finished her second year of a teaching degree at La Trobe in Bendigo, where she is part of the university's Elite Athlete Program.