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Wednesday, August 25, 1999 Published at 22:27 GMT 23:27 UK

Magnificent Macey snatches silver

Dean Macey brings home a famous silver medal for Britain

Dean Macey has produced one of the real shocks of the World Championships, with silver in the decathlon in Seville.

Seville 99
The Briton, who was virtually unknown until this week, burst onto the international scene with a string of stunning performances in the gruelling multi-discipline event.

It was the 21-year-old Essex athlete's first major championships.

Dean Macey: "Throw further, run faster and jump higher"
Macey was in third place going into the final event, the 1500m, but leapt into second spot with a fantastic run.

World record holder and defending champion Tomas Dvorak of the Czech Republic cruised to gold with 8,744 points.

Macey's strong finish gave him second place with a personal best score of 8,556, while Chris Huffins of the United States was edged into third place on 8,547.

Emotional finish

Overcome by the occasion, Macey revealed afterwards that he had not known whether he had done enough in the 1500m to claim a medal.

[ image: Dean Macey recovered from a broken pole vault]
Dean Macey recovered from a broken pole vault
"I was walking around and people were shouting 'silver, second'," he said.

"I didn't know whether to be sick, cry or pass out."

The Canvey Islander believed his status as an unknown quantity had given him an advantage over his competitors.

"I have scared them and showed them there is someone who is going to do the business for Great Britain," he beamed.

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

Six of the best

So impressive was Macey's performance over the two days that he recorded six personal best efforts.

[ image: A delighted Macey smashes his personal best in the 400m]
A delighted Macey smashes his personal best in the 400m
Two came on day one in the 100m and 400m, leaving him in bronze position overnight.

And the rest came in a stunning second day's action, when he rose to the occasion in four of the five disciplines - 110m hurdles, pole vault, javelin and 1500m.

Some experts had predicted that Macey would fold on day two as the pressure of the competition began to tell and his more experienced rivals stepped up their own performances.

Dean's mum Patricia Macey: "It's absolutely marvellous"
But Macey showed in the third event of the day, the pole vault, that he has the fighting spirit to become a major star of British athletics.

He was making a second attempt at 4.20m when the pole suddenly snapped - but fortunately the former lifeguard safely landed on the mat rather than the hard track in the Olympic Stadium.

Suddenly forced to use a new pole, Macey responded brilliantly to sail over the bar and went on to clear 4.60m.

Lone throw

Despite his efforts Macey was lying in fourth place after eight events, with Russia's Lev Lobodin ahead of him in bronze position.

But he needed only one throw in the javelin to get himself back into the top three.

"I knew beforehand there was only one throw in me," he explained.

"I tore a ligament in Arles earlier this year and sure enough it went again. Thankfully it was a good one. If I'd thrown crap, I'd have had to run faster in the 1500."

As it was Macey knew Huffins was not strong over the distance - and the Briton out-paced him by more than 20 seconds, finishing in 4:31.61 to clinch a famous medal performance.

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Seville winners: Final day

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Greene flies to historic double

Miller makes it gold

Johnson smashes 400m record

Radcliffe wins silver in 10,000 metres

Heat is on in Seville

Michael Johnson: Life in the fast lane

Jackson hurdles to gold

Magnificent Macey snatches silver

Devastated Edwards gets bronze

A sprint too far for Jones

Colin Jackson: Britain's golden boy

Dean Macey: The great unknown

El Guerrouj stuns Seville

Hansen flops in triple jump

Two disqualified over drugs

May quits after medals row

Injury wrecks Smith's medal dream

Jones fails in four-gold attempt

Lewis takes heptathlon silver