Launceston shooter Bailey Groves has paved the way for Olympic selection by winning gold at the Oceania shooting championships.
Now based in Western Australia, the 22-year-old secured Australia a 2020 Tokyo quota in the 10m air pistol by shooting 568 out of 600 - five above the minimum qualification standard - before taking out the final from countrymen Scott Anderson and Daniel Repacholi.
Trailing by 0.7 heading into the final round in Sydney, Groves shot 19.8 with his last two attempts to finish 0.1 clear of Anderson with a final score of 234.4.
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"It was absolutely amazing to be able to do it," Groves said.
"The last Oceania I went to I didn't really get to prepare for properly so I didn't have much opportunity there, so really for the last two years I've been training as hard as I can to come to this event and do this.
"It was our last chance to get this quota place for Australia - if we didn't do it here that's it, we wouldn't be getting it, so I'm really glad that we were able to get that spot."
Despite winning Monday's championships, Groves is no certainty to be picked for Tokyo with four-time Olympic representative and two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Repacholi looming large over the country's one available plane ticket.
A series of competitions held in February and March will determine which of Australia's top-flight shooters are selected, however, Groves has more on his mind than just making the Olympics.
"Basically I've just got to go and be the best at each of them and that'll secure a spot but my training at the moment is promising," the subsea engineer said.
"[My aim is] to continue getting my scores up to a more competitive level because you've got to focus on this to qualify for the team, but the ultimate focus is to be competitive when we actually go away to the Olympics so I'm trying to get my scores up to that world class level."
Following Monday's success, Groves will have a month off before returning to training in mid-December.
The break will give the former Evandale Primary School and Australian Maritime College student plenty of time to decide where to keep the most significant medal of his career to date.
"I'll probably hang it somewhere in my room - it's a pretty substantial medal compared to some of the other ones I've gotten," he said.
"There was a lot riding on it so I'm very proud to have that medal."
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