The selfless moment between two Australian athletes that will go down in history.

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.

Moloney surged.

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.

Cedric Dubler screams at Ashley Moloney, spurring him toward the finish line. Image: Getty.


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.

"I was stressed as," he said. "I had to try to bring him through, and keep an eye on where Pierce [LePage of Canada]  and [American Garret] Scantling were. He had me worried for a little bit, but then I just started screaming at him, and we got him there."

Speaking of Dubler's encouragement, Moloney added, "I can’t repeat what he said. I could hear his voice bouncing in my cranium like a bat out of hell. 


"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 too far away.' He screamed like a nutter."

Dubler and Moloney nervously watch the scoreboard for the final result. Image: Getty.

After two days and 10 gruelling track-and-field events, Moloney finished with a total of 8649 points — just 38 points ahead of fourth-placed Scantling. 


That final lap in the 1500m was critical.

And Dubler sacrificed his own standing in that race to make sure his young teammate made the most of it, to coach him to a medal.

Dubler ultimately jogged across the line in last place, but not before pumping his fist in the air in celebration of Moloney's achievement. 

As Seven host Andy Maher said, "There are snapshot images, iconic images, from an Olympic Games. Dubler screaming into Moloney’s ear is going to be one of those."


Feature image: Getty/Mamamia

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