England's Dean Macey finally claimed his first major title with a gold medal in the Commonwealth Games decathlon.
Macey was emotional in the aftermath of victory
Having led for much of the two-day competition, Macey had dropped to second place behind Jason Dudley after the penultimate event, the javelin.
But the 28-year-old Macey, who once again had to battle with injury during the event, ran a strong 1500m to finish on 8,143 points and earn gold.
Maurice Smith of Jamaica took silver and Australian Dudley earned bronze.
"This has been such a long time coming," said an emotional Macey. "I have really earned my stripes.
"Four years ago I didn't make the start line, four years ago I was an inch away from retiring and now I'm the Commonwealth champion. It feels 10 times better than I thought it was going to be."
Macey had once again struggled with his fitness during the competition, and needed strapping on both his hamstring and elbow.
"I'm not physically healthy - I haven't done any training for three weeks," he said. "Three weeks ago, there was no way I was going to be on the line."
The Canvey Island athlete paid tribute to his medical team and his family and had a tearful trackside embrace with his father after the final event.
"The tears were because my dad was hugging me so hard, I couldn't breathe," joked Macey.
The Englishman had gone into the second day with a 187-point lead but it was slashed to just 58 points after the 110m hurdles and discus.
A season's best in the pole vault had extended his lead to 146 points but a disappointing display in the javelin saw him drop to second place, trailing Australian Jason Dudley by 37 points with just the 1500m left.
But Macey is a strong 1500m runner and comfortably overhauled Dudley's lead in the final event.
The Essex athlete had held a decent lead at the halfway stage on Monday, despite concerns over a hamstring injury.
After clocking 11.17secs for the 100m, he set a new personal best of 15.83m to take the shot, while his long jump of 7.28m was the second-best leap.
He was placed first in the high jump with 2.08m and further strengthened his position with a strong performance in the 400m, clocking a time of 49.63 seconds to move to 4,049 points after the first day.
But his lead was shortened as the second day of competition at the MCG began.
Macey defied injury problems to capture the gold medal
The former World Championship silver medallist was only fifth in the hurdles in a time of 14.94 seconds, and was limping slightly as he left the track.
He emerged for the discus with strapping to his left thigh and managed a season's best of 46.76m with his first-round effort.
But again he had his lead cut back as Smith won the competition with 50.26m, while Dudley claimed second with 50.10m.
However, Macey reinvigorated his hopes of Commonwealth gold by claiming first in the pole vault with New Zealand's Brent Newdick.
But in the javelin, he could only throw 56.93m and then required treatment for an arm injury, with Dudley achieving 69.27m.
Yet Macey ran 4:34.22 secs in the 1500m to win by 69 points.
Dale Garland of Guernsey, who was lying fourth after the opening day, dropped down the order during the second day of competition but won the 1500m to finish in fifth.