Redemption has been achieved for New Zealand rower Mahe Drysdale after he conquered crippling nerves to claim Olympic gold in the single sculls tonight.
The five-times world champion said he had one of the worst mornings of his life before storming to victory in London.
"This morning was a miserable morning for me I thought I'd enjoy the final, but I didn't," he told Sky.
"I was throwing up because of nerves and it sort of brought up the memories of Beijing."
Four years ago at the last Olympics, Drysdale was suffering from a virus and dehydration, but somehow managed to lead the race until the last 100 metres, when he was eventually beaten by 2004 champion Olaf Tufte of Norway and Ondrej Synek from the Czech Republic.
Tonight Synek was back to once again spoil Drysdale's party, and the two rivals were side by side until the last 200 metres.
"I knew Synek was the danger man, obviously there's a lot of other dangerous people in that field but once me and Synek took the lead after the quarter mark, I knew then it was a two horse race," Drysdale said.
The Kiwi knew he had to make a decisive move after a previous head to head between the two at a race in Amsterdam.
"If he had have stayed with me for another 250m it might have been a different result, but there was a huge amount of work and effort and I'm just so proud to be able to finally put that gold medal in my cabinet."
The race had clearly taken its toll on Drysdale, both physically and emotionally, and he could barely stand up once he had got out of his boat.
"After Beijing that was the toughest race of my life I knew I had to go for broke in that third 500 and try to open up a gap on Synek and he was coming at em and that last 250 I had nothing, but just the support of the crowd and knowing that I'm representing New Zealand got me over the line."
Drysdale's achievement is all the more remarkable given he had to pull out of the last big regatta before the games after he was knocked off his bike in Munich.
He suffered a grade two AC joint injury to his shoulder, some soreness in his ribs, and cuts and bruises, but said he considered merely a "speed-bump" on his road to Olympic glory.
That road is now at an end, and as it happened, it proved to be paved with gold.