Athletics: Macey the new People's Daley

Britain has unearthed a decathlete capable of matching Thompson's achievements.

AN INSPIRED 1500 metres run in the tenth and final event of his competition brought Britain's Dean Macey the extraordinary and unexpected reward of a decathlon silver medal here last night.

The 21-year-old from Canvey Island dragged a sub-60 second final lap from his weary limbs to achieve his sixth personal best of the competition and overhaul the American Chris Huffins as runner-up to the world record holder, Tomas Dvorak of the Czech Republic. It was the first major medal for Britain in this event since the retirement of a certain former world and Olympic champion - Daley Thompson.

Macey, whose main target for the season had been a medal at the European under-23 championships, finished with a new personal best total of 8556 points, with Dvorak scoring 8,744.

As he had staggered with exhaustion at the end of the metric mile, Macey recalled how team mates had called out to him that he had moved up from bronze to silver position.

"I didn't know whether to be sick, cry or just pass out," he said, before describing the effect his sudden rise to prominence had had on his rivals.

"I scared them and showed them that there was someone from Great Britain who was going to be the business again."

He added: "This was the World Junior Championships re-lived, but with a bigger score and on a bigger stage and a sweeter personal victory."

In the course of the competition, Macey had overcome - or just plain ignored - injuries to his elbow, hamstring and ankle, as well as recovering his nerve after his pole snapped while he was vaulting at 4.20 metres. He went on to set a new personal mark of 4.60m. Other personal improvements came in the 100m, the 400m, the 110m hurdles, the javelin and the 1500m.

Following Thompson's reluctant retirement in 1992 the event has moved on to the point where two men have beaten the world record of 8,847 points he set in winning at the 1984 Olympics. But - until the ebullient arrival of this 6ft 5in, 151/2 stone, bleach-blond Essex boy - no Briton has looked capable of competing at the highest level.

Having scored 8,347 points in May - putting himself second on the all- time British list - Macey was clear about his ambitions here: "I want to go out there and mix it with the big boys. I want to show a few people there's a new kid on the block."

His attitude, as much as his deeds in the two days of competition which concluded here night have convinced more than a few people that Britain has a new edition of the People's Daley.

When he spoke lightly about how he took pleasure in winding his opponents up whenever he came across them outside the confines of the competition, there was another Thompsonian flashback.

Daley delighted in psyching his opponents out. And then he would beat them.

"My ambition is to break Daley Thompson's British record."

Macey's attitude has already received a seal of approval from Thompson, who has been advising the Estonian decathlete, Erki Nool, here as well as commenting for BBC TV. "Dean is showing he's a great competitor, and it's all about competition," Thompson said.

Back home in Canvey Island, where Macey lives in a three-bedroom semi with his parents, Alan and Patricia, his 20-year-old sister Marie and his 13-year-old brother Adam - with whom he shares a room - there has been sleepless excitement.

His parents could afford either to watch him at last month's European under-23 championships in Gothenburg - where a fall in the hurdles put him out of contention - or here. "We chose the wrong one," his father said.

As a youngster, Macey played in the same youth side as West Ham's Frank Lampard and had trials with Arsenal. But he does not regret the choice he has now made. "I want to be the best decathlete in the world," he says of his decision. "Footballers can't say that. Only decathletes can say that."

On last night's evidence he is well on his way to his ambition.

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine