Stuart Farquhar has spent time learning from the best javelin thrower in the world, Norwegian Andreas Thorkildsen, in his quest for an Olympic medal later this year.
Farquhar was recently named alongside Valerie Vili, Nick Willis, Kim Smith and Quentin Rew in the first wave of New Zealand track and field athletes confirmed for London. It will be his third Olympic Games and he is ready to perform much better than his previous two - he finished 20th in Beijing four years ago when he could muster a best of only 76.14m and 25th in Athens in 2004.
The 30-year-old is confident that if he can throw close to his best of 85.35m in London it will be good enough for a medal. He's getting closer to doing it on a more consistent basis. He threw his personal best at the Porritt Classic in his home town of Hamilton in 2010, followed it up with 84.21m in 2011 and this year has the seventh-best throw with 80.97m achieved in Melbourne last month.
"Last year I made the final at the world champs and anyone in that top 12 can win," he said. "It's the same at the Olympics. Whoever makes the final can win it. I'm gunning to do the best I can and steal a medal.
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"My PB is 85.35m and at the last few major competitions like the Olympics and world champs, that's good enough for a medal.
"It's exciting. It's the thing with javelin, you have a good day and it goes well for you. I'm trying to use my experience from the last two Olympics to piece it all together and have a really successful year."
He understands better what it takes to do that after training with friend and two-time Olympic champion and former world champion Andreas Thorkildsen.
The Norwegian won Olympic gold in Athens and Beijing, was world champion in 2009 and European champion in 2006 and 2010 and will be among the favourites again in London. He holds the Olympic record with his throw of 90.57m in Beijing.
"I have learned a lot off my competitors," Farquhar said. "I have spent a fair bit of time training with Andreas Thorkildsen and learned a lot from him. I have learned a lot from different throwers and coaches around the world and that's part of your development. You have to do that. You have to find what works for you."
Farquhar hasn't yet found top form this season. The Delhi Commonwealth Games silver medallist won his 12th national title recently with a throw of 79.37m and said his technique was suffering a little as he endured a heavy training load in preparation for London.
He will compete in Hiroshima on April 29 and Kawasaki on May 6 before heading to a couple of Diamond League events in Europe. He hopes by the time the Olympics roll around the javelin will be starting to fly, just as Thorkildsen showed him.