With 150 metres to go in the IAAF World Championships London 2017 men’s 800m final, Pierre-Ambroise Bosse led.
The field were preparing their assault on him, just like they had in a similar situation at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games but the Frenchman was going through a rare experience.
“It was a weird feeling because I kind of knew I was going to win, it was unbelievable and I never feel such things,” he reflected later after a historic triumph for European athletics over two laps of the track.
Bosse extended his advantage and held off all his rival down the home straight as he triumphed in 1:44.67 from Poland’s Adam Kszczot, who came through for second in 1:44.85.
Suddenly, the clock was turned back to 1983, to Helsinki and to the very first of the 16 world championships.
That was the only time Europe has celebrated a one-two in the men’s 800m, when Willi Wullbeck, of West Germany, beat Rob Drupers, of the Netherlands.
Now Europe has the gold and silver medallist again and could so nearly have had the bronze as well as Great Britain’s Kyle Langford came storming home from last to finish fourth in a personal best of 1:45.21.
And how this result shows once more the success of the breeding ground that Europe has with its age-group championships.
Bosse, 25, has come of age, a man who was the European U20 champion in 2011 and European U23 champion in 2013, proving once more the brilliance of the process of these events and how the development and the learning process then can lead to a gold medal such as this one.
“It feels like a dream. You can have a nightmare, that feeling where they catch you, but I knew the ending and I knew I would not be caught.
"I am a gambler, I love going to the casino. And today I just gambled, I put everything on the red, even my last Euro. So hopefully, this is also for luck in love.
"I did not have any race plan. I just did it with feeling. I came to London and I was not in a very good shape. This is the best thing ever. I surprised myself, I surprised everybody.”
Bosse had not even won a race this summer but that does not matter now because he has the biggest title of his career after being clear with the home turn ahead and with the ability to increase his lead.
"I achieved this victory with a lot of determination, it was with my mind, not with my legs and not with strength,” said Bosse.
It was a brilliant result, too, for Kszczot, one of the all-time great European 800m runners as he won silver for the second world championships in a row.
He is the European champion indoors and out and what excitement there will now be in Berlin next August when he bids for a hat-trick of titles with Bosse back to challenge him.
The 2018 European Athletics Championships in Berlin will be part of the first multisport European Championships along with co-hosts Glasgow and with Langford in the mix too, it should be another sensational race.
Kszczot, 27, himself a European U23 champion in 2009, said: “I could have started to speed up a bit sooner. I lost contact and that cost me the gold.”
Langford was European U20 champion only two years ago in Eskilstuna and he is one of British athletics’ success stories of these championships as he was never expected to perform like this.
“I have a funny mentality of wanting to win everything I do,” said Langford.
“You sit down and say ‘Fourth, I’ll take that’ but I know in myself and I know in my heart that I wanted to get a medal out here, so it is gutting not getting it.
“I just have take it on the chin and try and learn from this experience. I knew I was going through in the right time and I was closing hard but I left it just a little bit too late. But this is where you learn.”