Jimboomba athlete Ashley Moloney wins bronze in the decathlon at the Tokyo Olympics

Celebration: Ashley Moloney. Photo: AAP
Celebration: Ashley Moloney. Photo: AAP

Friday, 11am

From a bit of an uncoordinated young athlete to an Olympic bronze medalist, Ash Moloney's transformation has been incredible.

Moloney joined the Jimboomba Little Athletics Club aged 12, and former centre manager Peta Smith remembered the young athlete's early years there.

"He was always a good jumper," Smith said.

"He was a little bit un-coordinated. Some boys are in that age group."

His transformation, Smith said, had been incredible. Moloney still holds records at the club which will stand for years to come.

Historic: Ashley Moloney has won bronze in the decathlon at the Tokyo Olympics.

Historic: Ashley Moloney has won bronze in the decathlon at the Tokyo Olympics.

But one thing has not changed. Moloney's humble nature, evident from the beginning, still makes him popular among teammates and locals.

"He was always encouraging the younger athletes when they went to meets," Smith said.

"They all wanted their photo with Ash. He's a nice boy, and he's from a nice family.,

"We're extremely proud. How could you not be?"

Thursday, 11pm

Jimboomba athlete Ashley Moloney has won bronze in the decathlon at the Tokyo Olympics.

Moloney, at just 21, becomes the first Australian ever to medal at the event.

It was also Australia's first track and field medal of the games.

The last event was the 1500m, where Moloney clocked a time of 4.39.19.

That was enough to give him 685 points in that event. His total of 8649 is a record for an Australian.

The relief was all over his face when Cedric Dubler, his ecstatic teammate, embraced an exhausted Moloney at the finish line.

Jimboomba centre manager Monic Hamilton was thrilled for the young athlete.

"We are just so proud," she said.

"Well done to Ashley Moloney. Just an amazing young man with such a big future ahead - congratulations."

Moloney sat in second place with five events left on the second day of competition.

But if not for Dubler it could all have gone pear-shaped in the concluding 1500m on Thursday night, with both American Garrett 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."

Young athlete: Ashley Moloney.

Young athlete: Ashley Moloney.

Pay your tribute to Ash here