New junior 10km champion Eider Arevelo reckoned his role model would still talk to him - even though the Colombian stole a march on the coveted status of being first from his country to gain an IAAF World Race Walking Cup medal.
Luis Lopes had hoped it would be him in the men’s 20km, but his teenage admirer cheekily claimed it wouldn’t matter when Lopes won Sunday’s race.
Arevelo added: “Luis helped me a lot to get here. He’s a role model for me - and I thank him for his support. I’m sure he’ll talk to me when he wins gold in the 20km.”
And Arevelo’s patience paid off when he waited until the last 500 metres before striking for home.
He said: “On the last lap I knew I had a medal - I was just hoping it would be gold.”
For second place Zelin Cai, his country’s third medal since the inaugural 10km in 2004, was a reward for a dedicated last week of training.
He said: “I came seven days ago, and trained every day at the track. Weather and wind made it very difficult, but I trusted my fitness.”
Sadly for favourite Valeriy Filipchuk - the conditions saw his hopes fade from gold to bronze.
The Russian said: “I had a race plan, but couldn’t follow it because of the weather, After 4km, I was sweating badly, and I also had a stomach problem.”
Paul Warburton for the IAAF