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.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SECONDARY SUPPLY TEACHERS NEEDED IN AND AROUND DOVER

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: Description Randstad Education i...

English Teacher - From October Half Term

£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Secondary English Teacher requir...

Science Teacher - Spring half term

£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Are you QTS qualified and availa...

Maths Teacher - from October half term

£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Long term Math Post - potentiall...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week