Stuart Farquhar dark horse for javelin medal

MARC HINTON IN LONDON
Last updated 05:09 11/08/2012
Stuart Farquhar
Photosport

DARK HORSE: If everyone throws their season's best in javelin final, then Stuart Farquhar will have an Olympic silver medal.

Stuart Farquhar
LAWRENCE SMITH/Fairfax NZ
HIS TIME: Stuart Farquhar is in top shape at this year's Olympics.

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If everyone throws their season's best in tomorrow's final of the javelin, then Hamilton's Stuart Farquhar will have an Olympic silver medal to match his Commonwealth one.

If. And it's a big "if" when it comes to Farquhar matching his potential with the big occasion in the international arena.

The 30-year-old has been around a while - this is his third Olympics, but the first time he's made it as far as the final - and has yet to really nail a big one when the world's eyes have been upon him.

But could it be that he's finally come of age? Earlier this year he recorded a career-best throw of 86.31 metres in Hiroshima, Japan; and in qualifying earlier this week he strolled up and nailed the automatic mark (82.32m) with his first attempt, and walked off without breaking a sweat.

There appeared to be a quiet confidence about a fellow who has now reached that comfortable place in his life known as fatherhood.

He and wife Leone have two young boys, and, quite possibly, that's helped ease one or two of the anxieties around competing at this level.

Farquhar, who's won 12 national titles, says he's feeling "confident" and "relaxed" and these words are as comforting a sign as the 82m effort he hit first dig on Wednesday. He feels like he's coming right at just the right time.

"My technique is getting really good now, so I just need to get that power I've got right into that technique. Anything could happen, it's the mystery of the javelin throw.

"I had a good preparation down in Cardiff, the last few training sessions have been very good and I've carried on that momentum and trusted my ability."

If qualifying is any guide - and it isn't always - then Farquhar and the rest of the field will have their work cut out denying Czech Vitezslav Vesely the gold medal.

The 29-year-old European champion threw 88 metres in qualifying and was four metres clear of everybody else.

Defending Olympic champion Andreas Thorkildsen of Norway is also well and truly in the picture.

The dominant javelin exponent of the last eight years is one of only two finalists to have broken the 90-metre mark and his qualifying effort of 84m suggests he's finding some form.

But Farquhar shrugs off any suggestion that there's extra pressure on him to come up with something special. Well, not any more than the expectation that's always there when a Kiwi hopeful takes centre stage at the Olympics.

"There's always going to be pressure because you want to do the best you can do," he said.

"I just have to take that pressure, be relaxed and move into it."

He knows he has a big one in his arsenal. He can still remember it well.

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- Fairfax Media

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