Track & Field
New Zealand's Stuart Farquhar was left to rue a lost opportunity after his premature exit in the Olympic javelin final today.
In testing cool and windy conditions at the Olympic Stadium, the 30-year-old Hamiltonian could only manage a best of 80.22 metres with his third attempt, and was one spot outside the top-eight cut that had a further three throws.
The event was won by 19-year-old Trinidad athlete Keshorn Walcott whose best throw of 84.58m earned the Caribbean nation just their second Olympic gold ever.
But with the conditions making it into a tight final, Farquhar admitted he had let a potential opportunity to do something special slip through his fingers. Less than half a metre separated the first three finishers and the winning throw was a rather modest effort.
"There was an opportunity there for me to get up into the medals, but you've got to do the first thing and that's make the top eight, which I just missed. So that's a bit disappointing."
The nine-time national champion said he'd left himself just too much to do on his final throw, and though he briefly moved into eighth spot, German Tino Haber passed him with his final effort of 81.21m.
"The first two I didn't quite connect, and kind of rushed it a little bit on delivery and had to work really hard on that third throw. It wasn't too bad. It's a bit disappointing but definitely a massive improvement on my last Olympics."
In Beijing, Farquhar failed to make it out of the qualifying round.
"My first goal was to make the final, which is always a hard thing to do, next was to make the top eight and after that was to hopefully get into the medals," he said.
"I've gotten better and I've had an enjoyable Olympics, so coming ninth in the end I'm really quite happy with that."
Farquhar's 80.22m today was well below his season's best of 86.31m, and even his qualifying effort of 82.32m. Probably more disappointing was the fact his first two attempts were both round the 76-metre mark.
Ukraine's Oleksandr Pyatnytsya grabbed the silver with 84.51m and Finland's Antti Ruuskanen the bronze with 84.12m, as all throwers had to contend with the distraction of British hero Mo Farah winning the 5000 metres while the competition was going on.
- © Fairfax NZ News