Tokyo Olympics | Ash Moloney takes home bronze in decathlon thriller

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Australia’s Ash Moloney has finished third in the men’s decathlon with a score of 8,649 points, taking home a bronze medal by the skin of his teeth in a tense final event.

Moloney needed to remain close to fourth-placed American Garrett Scantling in the 1500m to finish on the podium and managed that in a desperate final dash, finishing just under four seconds behind the USA star to keep his overall points tally intact.

It means the 21-year-old will take home a bronze medal as the youngest athlete on the Australian track and field team competing in Tokyo, claiming third by just 38 points in an Australian record total score.

In true Aussie fashion, Moloney let out an emphatic ‘F— yeah’ when confirmation of the final scores came through, not unlike compatriot Kaylee McKeown during last week’s swimming.

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“I honestly do not know how to feel, I crossed the line and saw a PB and thought, ‘Oh, s-t we’re on’. Then I started crying and it all happened,” Moloney said after the event.

“I was just putting one foot in front of the other, I started hitting a wall at 800m and I was a bit concerned.

“Today I thought it got away from me a little bit, on pole vault, I almost stacked it really hard and it really shook me, I was on edge. But I managed to pull through.”

Moloney also shared his gratitude for Aussie decathlon teammate Cedric Dubler who selflessly devoted his 1500m event to helping the youngster with pace in his least favourite event.

Canada’s Damien Warner took home gold after dominating the entire decathlon from start to finish, while Frenchman Kevin Mayer (8,726 points) did enough for silver.

Warner, who wore an ice vest often during the competition to battle the Japanese heat, posted an Olympic record of 9,018 points for the gold. He improved on his bronze five years ago in Rio de Janeiro.

Moloney had entered the final 1500m event in third place, after Mayer produced a stunning performance in the javelin – one event prior – to push him out of second.

Mayer threw a personal best of 73.09m, to pick up 937 points and move clear of Moloney.

In the women’s heptathlon, Nafissatou Thiam successfully defended her Olympic title as a seventh-place finish in her heat in the last event, the 800 meters, was enough for her to take the gold with 6,791 points.

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