Above: Stuart Farquhar in the qualifying round of the javelin at the Rio Olympics. Photo by Adrian Dennis / Getty Iamages.
Angie Petty raced in the first of eight heats in the preliminary round of the women's 800m, running against four competitors who had posted faster times than her this year.
The 25 year old five times New Zealand champion drew the outside line and was quick to come into a handy position on the pole after breaking lanes at the start of the back straight.
Florina Pierdevara of Romania was through the first lap in a sharp 59.96 with Petty still in contact. However down the back straight the pace went on with the fastest in the field Lynsey Sharp of Britain, the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games silver medallist, opening up a lead.
Coming into the finishing straight Petty was unable to bridge the gap on Amela Terzic and Sahily Diago and had to settle for fourth in 2:02.40.
With just the first two from each of the eight heats and the next fastest eight which ended up as a cut off of 2:00.00 advancing, Petty did not make it to the semi-finals.
The first time Olympian was disappointed not to be continuing on at Rio.
“It is amazing to be an Olympian but I’m just disappointed as to how I went. So grateful to be here and wearing the Olympic rings it’s been a childhood dream.
“I really wanted to be in that top two in the race and I knew it would be tough but I didn’t quite have it there today,” said Petty.
“I don’t really know what happened, it was quite pushy at the start, I got spiked. I didn’t feel that great in that last 200m which is a shame and I do seem to be a bit rusty in the heats sometimes and I hoping I wouldn’t be today as I’ve been training so well. Unfortunately I was actually a bit crook when I first arrived here in Rio. I don’t like excuses but I did have to really make sure I recovered from that and I was feeling fine by yesterday, added Petty.
“This is a dream come true to be racing in the Olympics and I gave it everything and I’m just grateful for everyone who’s supported me, there’s just been so many people.”
Canadian Melissa Bishop, silver medallist at the world championships last year was the fastest qualifier in 1:58.38.
Stuart Farquhar after a good warm up going into his qualifying group for the javelin throw was unable to match his recent training form producing a best throw of only 77.32m well short of the automatic qualifying mark of 83.00m.
The sixteen times New Zealand champion and Commonwealth Games silver medallist had a series of 74.24m, 77.32m and 74.38m in his three attempts.
Farquhar, at his fourth Olympics, came into the event with a season’s best of 83.93m and a career best of 86.31m.
He was disappointed not to be in the final of the javelin throw in his last Olympic Games.
“Not quite enough today. I left it in the warm up and didn’t really capitalise it in the first three throws, so I’m very disappointed,” said Farquhar.
He pin pointed speed being a factor in not executing the perfect technical throw.
“Just in the full speed it’s a while since I’ve really gone at that speed and I didn’t quite hold my body position and I was just collapsing and I couldn’t hold it and therefore can’t really deliver a big throw, only a let out throw,” he said.
At the end of the competition, the 34 year old from Hamilton, who represented New Zealand on 13 occasions at Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and World Championship events announced his retirement from the sport.
“I won’t be going to my fifth Olympics I won’t be doing this again, this is my last one,” he added.
Farquhar is proud of what he has achieved with long-time coach Debbie Strange.
“From when I was a junior going right through to developing myself as an international athlete Debbie and I really forged who I am,” said Farquhar.
Defending Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago had the best qualifying throw of 88.68m.
Athletics New Zealand Correspondent