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Shooting smiles . . . Natalie Rooney is eying a gold medal at April's Commonwealth Games. PHOTO: OAMARU MAIL FILES

Waimate trap shooter Natalie Rooney will be gunning for gold when she competes at the Commonwealth Games in April.

After taking a break from shooting near the end of last year, the Olympic silver medallist is now training hard before she goes to the Gold Coast.

Every week, Rooney has travelled to the Canterbury Clay Target Club on Macleans Island to fine-tune her shooting skills.

“I’ve been travelling up and down every week,” she said.

“I’ve been spending probably three days a week up there and then training also down at my dad’s.”

The club had one of the only two layouts in New Zealand that Rooney could properly train on, she said.

Training has been a solo effort, as Rooney’s coach is in Italy.

“I’m waiting to see him, hopefully before the Commonwealth Games,” she said.

The long break helped Rooney recover from a busy year of shooting.

“I had such a big year – I was pretty knackered,” she said.

Rooney said she was looking forward to participating in the Commonwealth Games.

Although taking home a gold medal was the ultimate goal, just earning a spot on the podium was providing motivation for her.

“I’m training up to be at my peak at that point,” Rooney said.

Rooney has been in Mexico this week competing at the ISSF World Cup series.

Her results on the cup circuit will be a handy pointer to how she is shaping for the Commonwealth Games.