On his international debut, Efrem Gidey won bronze for Ireland in the U20 race at the European Cross Country Championships in Portugal on Sunday morning.
The 19-year-old finished in 19.01 behind second placed Ayetullah Aslanhan of Turkey and winner Jakob Ingerbrigtsen of Norway.
"Third place, I'm so happy, I don't believe it," Gidey said in an interview with Athletics Ireland after the race. He added that the possibility of winning a medal had not been in his mind.
Gidey is originally from Eritrea. He arrived in Ireland just two years ago.
His story is made all the more remarkable as his journey to Ireland involved time in a number of refugee camps, including Calais.
Cork man Darragh McElhinney finished 12th in the race while Thomas McStay placed 24th, Keelan Kilrehill 25th and Jamie Battle 28th. Shay McEvoy placed 76th.
There was heartbreak for the Irish U20s men's team as they finished just outside the medals in fourth.
"I'm so happy. I don't believe it." 🤯
Meet your European U20 bronze medallist, Efrem Gidey!!!
— Athletics Ireland (@irishathletics) December 8, 2019
Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile