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Wednesday, August 25, 1999 Published at 23:50 GMT 00:50 UK

Dean Macey: The great unknown

The only way is up for Macey, after a magnificent decathlon

Dean Macey arrived in Seville a virtual unknown to most of his opponents.

But, as he left the Olympic Stadium on Wednesday night, after a magnificent World Championships decathlon, few could doubt his resolve as he revealed his ambition to break Daley Thompson's British record.

Seville 99
The 21-year-old Essex boy finished the two days of competition a runner-up with a personal best of 8,556 points, behind defending champion Tomas Dvorak, with 8,744 points.

Macey turned up in Seville with a determination to make up for his disaster during the Under 23-Championships in July.

[ image: Macey's ambition is to break Daley Thompson's British record]
Macey's ambition is to break Daley Thompson's British record
In Gothenburg, he was forced to withdraw from the competition after crashing into a barrier during the 110m hurdles.

This followed a failure to finish in the European Under-23 Cup two years previously.

But, at Seville, Macey was to display what had remained almost unknown for three years. "This was the World Junior Championships re-lived, but with a bigger score and on a bigger stage and a sweeter personal victory," he said after clinching the silver medal.

"I have scared them and showed them there is someone who is going to do the business for Great Britian."

And Macey certainly did the business, producing six personal best performances.

On Wednesday night Macey left the stadium looking like a realistic gold medal prospect for the Sydney Olympics.

Soccer talent

Macey, who lives in Canvey Island, Essex, was born in the county on 12 December 1977.

He started his athletics career as a triple-jumper. In 1994 Macey won the AAA Under-17 triple-jump. That year he won the English Schools' intermediate octathlon, and a year later he was victorious in the senior decathlon.

In 1995, the schoolboy made the traditional start to his international career in the British junior side, scoring 6,622 points for second place against Russia.

That year he was also on Arsenal's books with Frank Lampard junior, but gave up a possible soccer career to train for the World Junior Championships. In 1996, he took Sydney by storm, bringing home the silver medal with a magnificent score of 7,480.

A fracture in his shins prevented him for competing in another decathlon until May this year. But a bone graft was a success and Macey posted a score of 8,347 in Arles, France in May. This total has only ever been surpassed by Daly Thompson.

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