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Kelly Holmes's gold was not the only good news for Britain in the Olympic stadium on Monday night, writes David Owen in Athens. Decathlete Dean Macey stands a realistic chance of following her on to the medals podium after an outstanding high jump carried him into fourth place at the halfway stage of this supreme test of versatility and endurance.

The injury-plagued Essex athlete leapt 2.15m, the best jump of the competition, to clamber up the standings to within 111 points of the bronze medal position.

Roared on by a vocal band of British supporters, by this time fired up by Holmes's perfectly judged victory in the 800m, he then hurled his 6ft 5in frame around a single lap of the track to win his heat of the 400m, the day's final event.

With five events - the 110m hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1500m - to come, Macey, on 4,454 points, trails Bryan Clay of the US by exactly 100, with world record-holder Roman Sebrle of the Czech Republic 40 points further on in second.

Dmitriy Karpov of Kazakhstan is the clear leader on 4,689 points, having finished among the top five in all of the five events so far completed.

"I'm in not so good shape. It hurts like hell, but that just means I competed OK," Macey said. "Not once have I ever had a standing ovation, not ever. It brought me to tears nearly."

That will be nothing to the reception he can expect if he goes one better than his fourth place in Sydney by claiming a medal on Tuesday evening.

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