Context: in the manga りくどう, a girl named Naeshiro is thinking over the friendship between her boyfriend Riku and a boy named Mihara. Both of them are boxers, but Mihara is older than Riku and is thinking about retiring from boxing after an injury.
I don't understand who admires whom, Riku admires Mihara or Mihara admires Riku? I don't understand this because I don't know how to interpret 前を歩いてた人. Does it refer to Mihara in the sense that he has "walked the boxing path" before Riku, so he is like a senpai to him?
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