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.
It was the 21-year-old Essex athlete's first major championships.
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.
Overcome by the occasion, Macey revealed afterwards that he had not known whether he had done enough in the 1500m to claim a medal.
"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.
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.
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.
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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