Emma Cox will return to Mooroopna with Commonwealth Games glory after securing a silver medal yesterday.
The Undera Primary School teacher handed out a lesson to the rest of the double trap field at the Belmont Shooting Centre for the first three rounds of competition, but was eventually pipped at the post for the overall title.
After initially slotting into third spot following the first round, Cox powered ahead in rounds two and three to take a seven-point lead into the deciding shoot.
The Bendigo Clay Target Club member could not finish the job though as India’s Shreyasi Singh lifted her game to draw level on 96 points apiece when the dust settled.
The result forced the event to a dramatic shoot-off, and after Singh drew the first shooting position and knocked down her two clays it was left to Cox to settle her nerves and attempt to remain in the hunt for gold.
Cox’s first clay went up in a puff of purple smoke, but her next shot was just wide of the target and consigned her to the second step on the podium.
She thought after the event that deteriorating conditions may have played a role in her missing the gold.
‘‘It was more so the light that was happening in that last round. It went dark, it was getting everyone,’’ Cox said.
‘‘It went really, really dull and the wind picked up a little bit, so the targets were going a bit flatter.
‘‘All the girls I saw were struggling with the light. Plus a little bit of pressure from everybody (in the crowd), maybe.’’
It remained an outstanding result for the Goulburn Valley product though, who represented Australia in the same event at the 2014 Games in Glasgow and came sixth.
Cox, 25, has been clay target shooting for more than a decade now, and had to battle a number of health issues just to qualify to compete at the Gold Coast Games.
As well as fighting bouts of pneumonia since July, Cox suffered a shattered foot after being run over by a friend on an all-terrain buggy.
‘‘I stopped to talk to an old mate. Silly me, I put my foot underneath the buggy while he was stopped and he took off without me realising and he actually stopped on my foot and crushed little bits of my bone,’’ Cox told Channel Seven.
‘‘I’m coming good now, though.’’
Cox also had plenty of praise for the strong Australian contingent in the crowd.
‘‘I thought I’d get nervous shooting in front of all these people, but it was awesome to have all those people supporting me and knowing they were wanting me to win,’’ she said.
‘‘It was excellent.’’
Fellow shooter Bruce Quick suited up in Australian colours for the seventh time at a Commonwealth Games yesterday.
The 50m pistol qualification round pitted 21 competitors against each other with just eight finals spots available.
Quick — who spent two decades living in Shepparton — just missed out on progression to the next stage and finished in 11th spot.