On Thursday night, after nine rounds of competition, Australian decathlon athlete Ashley Moloney ran the final 1500 metres towards his Olympic dream.
The 21-year-old was a little more than halfway through the medal-deciding race when he hit a proverbial wall. He'd lost sight of his main rivals; his focus was dedicated to simply getting one foot in front of the other.
Then, in the final lap, a competitor dropped back beside him. Flanking Moloney on the outside, the fellow athlete started yelling. Television audiences couldn't exactly hear his words, but the intensity was obvious.
Summoning extra speed, he crossed the line 12th in a personal-best time of 4:39.19. It was enough — just enough — to secure him third place in the overall standings. At his first Olympics, Ash Moloney had become a bronze medallist.
But what of the man who'd yelled at him in that final lap? He was Moloney's competitor, yes, but also a teammate and training partner: Cedric Dubler.
In the post-race interview with Seven, it was clear injury-plagued Dubler had dedicated his race to ensuring his friend could earn a spot on the podium.
When Moloney had lost sight of his competitors, Dubler had tracked them; when Moloney's energy faded, he spurred him on.