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 Tuesday, 31 December, 2002, 00:07 GMT
Steve Backley OBE
Steve Backley celebrates another international gold
Backley has been a stalwart in the GB team
Steve Backley's visit to Buckingham Palace to collect his OBE will not be a new experience.

The Sidcup-born javelin thrower was awarded an MBE in 1995 after winning European and Commonwealth gold the previous summer.

That double was a feat he also achieved in 2002.

His victory in Berlin was his fourth consecutive European gold, making him the first male athlete to achieve such a feat.

Medals have flowed ever since Backley first represented Great Britain at senior level as a 20-year-old in 1989.

Steve Backley factfile
Steve Backley
Age: 33
Place of birth: Sidcup
Career highlights: Won Olympic silver in 1996 and 2000; won World Championship silver in 1995 and 1997; four European golds, winning every time from 1990-2002.

They include two silvers and a bronze at the Olympics and he is the only domestic athlete to have achieved a podium finish in three Games.

Likewise he has twice finished World Championship runner-up.

It has been a long and successful career for Backley, who first made his mark by winning silver at the 1988 Junior World Championships.

The same year he broke the world junior record and he has gone on to hold the senior record on several occasions.

The 33-year-old has hopes of extending his medal haul still further, with his sights fixed on the Olympics in 2004.

"The plan is to take it one year at a time," he says.

"Athens is less than two years away and I don't see why I cannot continue until at least then.

"A lot of focus will now go into getting myself properly prepared."

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 Steve Backley OBE
"This has made it a dream year"
All the details from the 2002 New Year Honours list

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