DEAN Macey insists nobody will be cheering louder than him when Jessica Judd races at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next week.
The Canvey Island athletes both attended Castle View School in their youth.
And Macey would love Judd to follow in his footsteps by winning Commonwealth Games gold.
However, he feels her best chance could well come at the 2018 Games in Queensland.
“For me, personally, watching Jessica Judd run in the 800m will be the highlight of the whole Commonwealth Games,” said Macey, who won gold in the decathlon back in 2006.
“I can assure you when she’s running nobody will be cheering for her louder than me and my missus because we’ve known Jess since she was a little kid and would love to see her do well.
“For me this is her most important event of the season, but it’s all great experience at this stage of her career and making the final would be an achievement in itself.
“I would say her best chance of winning Commonwealth gold would be in four years’ time, but you never know what could happen because she runs very maturely for her age.”
Judd, 19, shone as a junior athlete and is now also starting to make a real name for herself as senior level.
The middle distance star is being coached by another former Commonwealth champion from Canvey, Rob Denmark.
And Macey is certain the former 5,000m star will be a huge help to the youngster.
“I obviously know Rob as well and he will make sure Jess has her head screwed on at the Commonwealths,” said Macey.
“He would have been through it all himself which will be a huge help. That will really benefit Jess and she needs to start getting used to the process of going through the rounds so it’s going to be great for her development.”
Judd has dipped below the two-minute mark twice already this season.
And Macey would love to see her go faster than ever before in Scotland.
“I think the target for Jess would be to run a personal best and get under two minutes again,” said Macey.
“If someone goes out there and runs 1m 57s then fair enough because Jess isn’t quite at that level yet.
“But if it’s slightly slower and run between 1m 58s and two minutes then Jess will be right in the mix and I’m sure I’ll be jumping around my living room like a mad man.”