An overjoyed John Fitzsimons admitted he had to "hold on for dear life" to seal a brilliant 800m bronze at the European Under-20 Athletics Championships in Grosseto, Italy, on Sunday.
Fitzsimons defied the odds to make the podium with a gutsy, stirring run in 1:49.15.
John Fitzsimons on his brilliant bronze in the 800m #grosseto2017 pic.twitter.com/AhfhaoRqIA— Athletics Ireland (@irishathletics) July 23, 2017
It was enough to claim third and deliver Ireland its third medal of the championship.
"I can't believe it," Fitsimons said afterwards. "The first lap was slow and I was counting my blessings. I was very, very tired after the fast semi-final.
"I fancied a slow lap and then just stuck in, hung in there. I made a move on the back straight and just hung on for dear life.
"The legs were gone. All I was thinking was, 'hold on for dear life'.
"I couldn't let anyone down. I had to give it my all. I'm over the moon."
Meanwhile, the Irish women's 4x100m relay team of Gina Akpe-Moses, Molly Scott, Sharlene Mawdsley and Ciara Neville narrowly missed out on a medal, finishing in fourth place in a time of 44.47.
Earlier, Nadia Power finished 11th in the 1,500m final in a time of 4:28.60.
Michaela Walsh took bronze in the hammer with a best throw of 61.27m on Saturday.
That followed up sprinter Akpe-Moses' stunning gold last Friday in what's being an excellent championship for Team Ireland.