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banner Thursday, 16 November, 2000, 17:00 GMT
Ups and downs Down Under
Dean Macey
Dean Macey: a year of ups and downs
Dean Macey tells BBC Sport Online's Robin Scott Elliot what winning the Newcomer of the Year award meant and of his ups and downs in the 12 months that followed.

Dean Macey is not accustomed to failure. A bullish rise to prominence at last year's World Championship was recognised by the inaugural newcomer award to wrap up a startling debut year.

It meant more to me than winning silver because I didn't win it - people gave it to me.
  Macey on winning Newcomer of the Year

It propelled him into the Olympic year as one of Britain's best prospects for gold in Sydney, but his build up was dogged by injury and come the Games he finished a painful fourth, a mere 28 points short of a podium place.

"Ups, downs, highs, lows - a normal year for me," said Macey. "I had all the glamour last year - I don't deserve it this year."

It was the first setback of his career and while he remains desperately disappointed, the ever-positive Macey is convinced he will benefit from his first Olympic experience - even if he can't watch it again.

Dean Macey
Still standing: Macey finishes in fourth

"I watched it once when I got home but never again," said Macey.

"I have no excuses - I had no injury problems out there.

"There's no excuse for my throwing - I threw it away really.

"I didn't think I would go so far and come back with nothing.

"At one point before I went I said that I would be happy with a personal best and fourth - I did that but I wasn't happy.

"I felt sick when I crossed the line and saw the scores come up - I couldn't believe it.

"But I also can't believe how much I learnt about myself."

The previous year had ended with Macey learning a lesson as well - but it was a much more enjoyable one.

Dean Macey
Highs: Macey claims silver in Seville

"I didn't have a clue I was going to win the award, it came as a complete surprise," said Macey.

"It was the best thing that came out of last year - it was so special because it made me realise that people have confidence in me.

"It was weird knowing people have taken to you.

"It meant more to me than winning silver [at the World Championship] because I didn't win it - people gave it to me.

"It was a big boost."

If I'd thrown the shot and discus anywhere near as far as I can you would be talking to the Olympic champion
  Dean Macey

Come the close of the first day in Sydney, Macey appeared poised for further success. He lay in the silver medal position, but then Erki Nool was controversially reinstated in the discus, while Roman Sebrle and Chris Huffins continued to accrue points.

"If I'd thrown the shot and discus anywhere near as far as I can you would be talking to the Olympic champion," said Macey.

"But it's an experience everyone has to go through. It would be boring to just step on the track and win all the time!

"I loved every second in Sydney apart from when I crossed the line and saw the scores. It was an enjoyable experience but ..."

Dean Macey
Lows: 28 points short of a medal in Sydney

Despite his relative failure in Sydney - his score of 8567 is a career best - Macey has already been installed as the early favourite for the Athens Olympics.

He should be at his peak then - he will still only be 26 - and his coach Greg Richards, who also guides Nool, has said that he expects Macey to succeed the Estonian as Olympic champion.

"I can't wait. Come 2004 I think I will be the best athlete on the planet - but a lot can go wrong," said Macey

"You don't become Olympic champion because of raw talent - everything has to go right.

"I have a good chance in Athens, but I had a good chance of winning in Sydney."

"I can do it - I've a good feeling in my bones!"

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