Sport Vocal teammate helps Ashley Moloney secure decathlon bronze medal
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Vocal teammate helps Ashley Moloney secure decathlon bronze medal

Cedric Dubler urges on Ashley Moloney in the 1500m to a decathlon bronze medal. Photo: Getty
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Ashley Moloney has won Australia’s first athletics medal of the Tokyo Games, hanging tough through a gruelling second day to finish third in the decathlon.

Moloney was in the medal positions through all 10 events and gritted it out in the concluding 1500m to clinch the bronze with a new national record of 8649 points.

The 21-year-old became the third youngest Australian man to win an Olympic track and field medal, behind only high jumpers Tim Forsyth and Chilla Porter.

Canada’s Damian Warner led from start to finish to win gold in the decathlon with an Olympic record total of 9018 points, while world record holder Kevin Mayer from France got the silver (8726).

Until Thursday, no Australian had ever finished higher than sixth in an Olympic decathlon.

Although all the glory will understandably go to Moloney, he also owes a debt of gratitude to his more-experienced countryman Cedric Dubler, who defied a hamstring injury to finish the competition, providing valuable guidance along the way.

Moloney was third going into the concluding 1500m and stayed close enough to American Garrett Scantling and Canadian Pierce LePage to ensure he could not be knocked out of the bronze-medal position.

Athletics Australia was quick to praise the Australian duo, tweeting ‘‘A huge national and area record of 8649 points to claim the team’s first medal in Tokyo. Congratulations to Ash, Cedric and their coach Eric Brown – sensational on all fronts!’’

-AAP