Betting against each other is something New Zealand Olympian Tom Walsh and his Australian coach, Dale Stevenson, engage in regularly.
If you ask Tokyo Olympics-bound Walsh, he'll tell you he's lost so many bets to Stevenson, a former shot put Olympian, that he's lost count.
For instance, it doesn't tickle the fancy of Walsh's partner, Dana Mulcahy, either. Like about three months ago when he inherited a dome head after losing a bet in Doha, Qatar, when he missed out on gold at the world championship. Stevenson would have sported a "dirty old chin strap all the way up to his head" had he lost.
"My girlfriend almost broke up with me over that," said the laughing 27-year-old in Hastings before he started warming up for the annual Allan and Sylvia Potts Memorial Classic that fans can watch through a gold-coin donation at the HB Regional Sports Park. All the proceeds will go to Cancer Hawke's Bay.
Nevertheless, it seems losing bets to Stevenson quite often has a silver lining — although Walsh will be banking on gold in Tokyo — even though he doesn't consider a dome-head look a winner.
"Again it's another challenge," he explained. "We always bet on things out there that are going to challenge me and him — and Dale only takes those he thinks he can win and I like to think the same."
Stevenson lost once and had to grow his hair long, which wasn't too endearing for a bloke who is prone to shaving his head.
"It [bets] comes and goes a little bit so it becomes a bit of fun and, in a way, keeps things light and humorous when things can be very serious in major competitions."
Walsh emphasised he always delivered on whatever the odds were on the table and Stevenson would endorse that.
When he clinched gold at the World Athletics Championship in London in August 2017, Walsh became the first Kiwi male to claim a medal at the worlds, joining the exclusive elite club of Dame Valerie Adams (shot put titles 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013) and Beatrice Faumuina (discus in 1997).
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However, it was widely publicised he had lost his bet to Stevenson in failing with his throw of 22.03m to eclipse his personal best of 22.21m established in Zagreb in 2016.
Oh Walsh had to deliver all right but it wasn't the much speculated butterfly, love heart or any such designs to diminish an alpha male's ego. It was simply an acronym — FTA.
"I'm not sure if I can say what it means," he said, taking off his floppy hat momentarily to run his fingers through his amply cropped hair before mumbling: "It means f**k them all."
It was in reaction to what people had thought about him when he had entered the high-octane arenas during his early days on tour.
"They were questioning if I was big enough, strong enough, fast enough and if I could ever throw far enough so [I thought], 'f**k em'," Walsh said, reflecting on how his critics' views were aired rather than asking him if he had the drive to achieve.
"So many people over the years, especially when I was a young athlete, told me, 'Nah, nah, you'll never do it, you'll never do it'."
Walsh said he had become a billboard for those who believed in something passionately enough consequently going on to accomplish it regardless of the vitriol.
Soon after the frown lines faded and the typical smile enveloped Walsh's face.
No doubt he'd love seeing only one thing more than that dirty old chin strap on Stevenson in Tokyo — if the coach is keen on the wager — a maiden Olympic gold medal.