Ash Moloney has become Australia's first-ever medallist in decathlon at the Olympics, but he couldn't have done it without a little help from teammate Cedric Dubler.
Moloney claimed bronze at the Olympics on Thursday night after incredible scenes in the final event - the 1500m.
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The 21-year-old Queenslander was in the medal positions throughout all 10 events, and gritted it out in the concluding 1500m with a new national record of 8649 points.
Moloney was third going into the final event, just 62 points ahead of the fourth-placed Garret Scantling.
The Aussie had to finish close enough to the leaders to ensure he got enough points to remain in third place, and he did so with a little help from Dubler.
Aussie teammate Dubler was out of medal contention by the time the 1500m rolled around, so he dedicated his race to motivating Moloney and helping him keep pace.
Dubler could be seen yelling encouragement as he ran alongside Moloney, before celebrating with his compatriot in wonderful scenes at the finish line.
“He had me worried for a little bit then I just started screaming at him and we got him there,” Dubler told Channel 7 afterwards.
Moloney revealed just how important Dubler was in getting him the bronze medal.
“He was screaming. I can’t repeat what he said. I could hear his voice bouncing in my cranium like a bat out of hell,” Moloney said.
“I started hitting a wall at 800m and I was a bit concerned but I was like, ‘Just stick to Cedric. Don’t let him get to far away’. He screamed … like a nutter.”
Channel 7 commentators Bruce McAvaney and Tamsyn Manou paid tribute to both Moloney and Dubler.
“He has been able to help Ash mentally and now physically right to the end,” McAvaney said.
Manou added: “He has been fabulous. He sacrificed his own event here just to help his teammate.”
"He's sacrificed his own event here just to help his team mate"
Credit to Cedric Dubler for helping Ash along the way right throughout this decathlon 💚💛#Tokyo2020 | #7Olympics pic.twitter.com/wjGejNKaIc
— 7Olympics (@7olympics) August 5, 2021
Ash Moloney makes athletics history at Olympics
Moloney also became the third youngest Australian man to win an Olympic track and field medal.
Canada's Damian Warner won gold with 9018 points, while world record holder Kevin Mayer from France took the silver.
The bronze was Australia's first athletics medal of the Tokyo Games.
But if not for Dubler it could all have gone pear-shaped, with American Scantling and Canadian Pierce LePage threatening to knock Moloney out of the medals.
"My plan in the 1500 was to keep one foot in front of the other," said Moloney.
"I had no idea I was going to run a good time. I saw Garrett go and I thought 'Don't you dare'. He did dare and I had to keep going.
"When he got in front of me I got really anxious. But I didn't want to give it any chance. I wanted that bronze.
"Second was out of reach of my capability, but I knew I had third in me and I went for it.
"All I heard in the last 300 was Cedric shout 'F***ing go' - it was pretty unreal. I just heard his voice in my brain and it filled me with energy."
Australians flocked to social media to express their awe over the wonderful scenes.
Cedric Dubler has a share of that medal. Magnificent team man. Moloney looked gone, Dubler paced him, screamed at him and sat on his arse. Drove him to the medal. Superb.
— Michael Gleeson (@mickgleeson) August 5, 2021
Just seen the vision of @CedricDubler urging on Ash Moloney in the 1500m. Not surprising at all - what a gun Dubler is and what a great advocate he as been for multi-sport athletics. I’m in the moment but that is ‘Don’ worthy... urging your mate to greater heights #Athletics
— QUENTIN HULL (@QuentinHull) August 5, 2021
— Phil Hillyard (@philthy295) August 5, 2021
Cedric Dubler is mateship personified. What a teammate. #decathlon
— Scott Bailey (@ScottBaileyAAP) August 5, 2021
Well done Cedric Dubler on a show of outstanding sportsmanship helping your fellow countryman to achieve a Bronze Medal🇦🇺
— Theresa Mynott (@Cooltess64) August 5, 2021
Possibly my favourite moment so far.
— TyrhannahsaurusRex (@tyrhannahsaurus) August 5, 2021
An injured Cedric Dubler guiding Moloney in the 1500m, so the younger athlete could hold on, and sprint on the home straight for a historic bronze. That's camaraderie! #tokyo2020
— Cameron Pegg (@ghostwhowrites) August 5, 2021
Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:
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