Tonbridge race walker Tom Bosworth blinked back the tears as he took a lap of honour around the Alexander Stadium at the Commonwealth Games.
The two-time Olympian, 32, has already confirmed this will be his final season and later admitted that perhaps this was the ideal grand stage to exit.
He has been selected for this month's European Championships in Munich, but the five-time British champion finished well back in seventh in the 10,000m race walk, won by Australia's Evan Dunfee in a new Commonwealth Games record.
However, one of the most popular British athletes around, he received a thunderous ovation as he came down the home straight.
"I've got so much emotion right now. I had planned to go to the Europeans, but we'll see what happens," he said.
"I was pain free and after the year I've had I didn't think I would ever get there. I felt like I could do something, but I just wanted to finish too. This stadium and crowd and are amazing and perhaps that was a perfect way to end.
"My career has been a bit of an accident, I started the sport just to stay fit, and I've just enjoyed all of it, even the bad bits.
"To think I've done any of what I have over the last 13 years, it doesn't seem real to me.
"I'll make a decision about the Europeans in the next couple of days because I want to go there and do myself proud. You never stop wanting to compete but maybe I should just watch on television and cheer my team-mates on. However, I'm feeling great so let's see how I recover."
This summer, Team England, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, comprises of over 400 athletes, all vying for medal success.
England team-mate Callum Wilkinson just missed out on the medals but Bosworth, a Commonwealth Games silver medallist from four years ago on the Gold Coast, believes he's got the class to be the future of the sport in Great Britain.
"I take huge satisfaction of seeing Callum racing," he said.
"Commonwealth walking is incredibly strong, we're up against world and Olympic guys are out there. I thought there was a chance I could get a medal but there was also a chance I could come last and that speaks volume to the quality.
"Callum should be really proud of that fourth - that's an incredible performance against guys of this quality.
"I'd love to leave bit of a legacy. I don't want my records to last forever because it means we haven't had anybody else at my level."
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