Kiwi Stuart Farquhar wins javelin silver
Waikato's Stuart Farquhar finally put the demons from the Melbourne Commonwealth Games to bed early this morning after claiming silver in the men's javelin throw in Delhi.
Like four years ago in Melbourne, Farquhar was the favourite to claim gold after throwing a whopping 85.35m in Hamilton seven months ago – the best effort this year of any of the 11 athletes in the final.
The difference this time around, however, was that he delivered.
There was no seventh place at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium this morning, just a well-deserved second thanks to his last throw of 78.15m.
Aussie rival Jarrod Bannister, who Farquhar predicted in the build-up to the event would be his toughest competition, did enough to win gold after sending the javelin 81.71m.
"There wasn't too much pressure going in to tonight," Farquhar said.
"Having that No 1 ranking thing, well it's all up in the air.
"I really had to medal. I should medal, I'm talented enough to medal and I managed to do it."
Farquhar's medal, like so many events at this Games, was not without controversy.
After sending his second throw well over the 75-metre mark, the official scoreboard flashed with a total of 72.56m.
It was clearly wrong and Farquhar knew it, blowing up immediately at officials. After a couple of comical minutes order was restored and the correct distance was recorded.
"They put a mark of 72m and I was like, 'What?' 'That was over 72, it was over the 75m mark'," he said.
"I had to ask the question of them (the officials) and they re-measured. I'm not too sure how and why it happened, but that's India."
Farquhar said he wasn't affected in any way by the stuff up but conceded the sweltering conditions and a lack of wind at the national stadium made it hard to get any distance.
"It didn't throw my rhythm off," he said.
"But it was tough to throw far in these conditions tonight. I worked really hard out there. I've had a really sore heel in the last month and I managed to get through the competition okay, so I was rapt."
Farquhar said erasing Melbourne's disappointing performance from his memory bank was also a driving force in Delhi.
"Debbie Strange, my coach, and I have been working so hard this year," he said.
"We've worked on getting perfectly timed to perform well at the Commonwealth Games.
"A silver medal's fantastic, you know. It's something I've always dreamed about, getting a medal and even getting gold.
"It's definitely a stepping stone towards higher success later on.
"It was an average competition last time in Melbourne but I stepped it up this time."