Athletics: Macey's pain turns to gain in decathlon

England's athletes took over where the swimmers left off last night as they added six medals, three of them gold, to the Commonwealth kitty.

For emotional impact, you could not match Dean Macey's securing of the championship decathlon title he has been chasing for seven injury-racked years.

For surprise, you had to look no further than the face of Lisa Dobriskey as she took in the fact that she had just become Commonwealth 1500 metres champion. And for sheer poise, it was hard to imagine anyone outdoing Christine Ohuruogu's achievement in beating the world and Olympic champion, Tonique Williams-Darling, to the 400m title.

Macey had promised that we would see a grown man cry if he eventually won a decathlon title. In the event, no tears flowed, but the Macey lip - which, unlike his elbows, hamstrings and Achilles tendons, is always in full working order - was bitten a couple of times as he contemplated his belated success and hugged his parents, Pat and Alan, who had travelled over with other relatives and friends.

Having aggravated a hamstring injury three weeks before, the 28-year-old Canvey Islander had travelled more in hope than expectation, but intensive medical treatment allowed him to achieve a victory which, while understandably conservative, offers huge psychological succour for further challenges, starting with the European Championships in August.

"Getting on the line was a miracle," said Macey, who has silver and bronze world medals and two Olympic fourth places to his credit. "Finishing was another one. Mate, this runs my wedding day close and I never ever thought I'd say that."

As it happened, standing there with his floppy Union Jack hat on and looking more like one of the Barmy Army who will be inhabiting the MCG come the Boxing Day Test, he was able to say a lot more.

"My parents have flown numerous times around the world and I've never rewarded them," he said, having completed his 10 events to stay 69 points clear of Jamaica's Maurice Smith with a total of 8,143. "I've won medals that are respected, but never in my entire life have I stood on top. For the first time in my life I can actually pat myself on the back and say, 'I'm the man'."

As he plodded round the track in the 10th and final event, the 1500m, he looked haggard but determined. "Even though I was confident going into it, there was still three and three-quarter minutes between myself and the gold medal and it was the longest four and a half minutes of my life.

"The Europeans are going to be a hell of a lot tougher - I'm going to have to compete out of my skin. But there are five months to go and there is absolutely no better way to start those five months than to be Commonwealth Champion."

Asked if the pain was worthwhile, his reply was characteristically direct: "It ain't gone yet, mate. I'll let you know. I'm going home to have 20 hours' kip."

Ohuruogu, whose parents came to Britain from Nigeria, trains under the direction of Lloyd Cowan at Mile End stadium in east London, close to where the Olympic Stadium will be built. It is tempting to speculate on how this 21-year-old linguistics graduate might fare there in 2012. Could she emulate Cathy Freeman in following Commonwealth 400m victory with an Olympic version on home soil six years later?

Sensibly, Ohuruogu is making no comment on that prospect, but she exuded confidence in the wake of a decisive victory which saw her finish 0.48sec ahead of Williams-Darling in a personal best of 50.28sec, becoming the first Englishwoman to win this title since Donna Hartley in 1978.

"Christine was really strong and hungry for it," said the silver medallist. "I was surprised at how fast she went out."

Ohuruogu, however, appeared anything but surprised to have defeated such a lofty opponent. "I beat her yesterday," she said, referring to the semi-final. "Beat someone once, you can beat them again."

After a disappointing run at last year's World Championships in Helsinki, Ohuruogu had been determined to run less fearfully in Melbourne. "This time I said to myself I really had to go for it," she said.

The same sentiments were uttered by Dobriskey after she had claimed gold in the metric mile in 4min 06.64sec, with Wales' Hayley Tullett taking bronze in 4:06.76.

Further English medals were provided by part-time diplomat Mara Yamauchi in the 10,000m, where she took half a minute off her personal best, Nadia Williams in the triple jump and Andrew Turner, 0.01sec behind Scotland's Chris Baillie in the 110m hurdles.

* The Norfolk shooter Mick Gault won silver in the 50m pistol event for a record 14th Commonwealth Games medal, overtaking the swimmer Karen Pickering's 13.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions