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Coe’s Daley boost

PALS: Thompson (left) with Lord Coe

THE ATHLETE known as Superman has been touted to light the Olympic flame at the 2012 opening ceremony.

Lord Coe, the London 2012 chief, has called for Daley Thompson, who won decathlon gold in 1980 and 1984, to light the flame next year

Coe said: “He's my mate, but I also believe he's the greatest Olympian we've delivered. My gut instinct is it needs to be an Olympian.”

But Lord Coe, speaking at the launch of BT's Storytellers campaign to chronicle the countdown to the opening, will have no say in the decision.

Coe’s call is certainly endorsed by Thompson’s glittering career. With four world records, two Olympic gold medals, three Commonwealth titles, and wins in the World and European Championships, Thompson is often considered the greatest decathlete the world has ever seen.

The second son of a Nigerian father and Scottish mother, Thompson showed a remarkable aptitude for sport while at boarding school in Sussex.

Initially he was a member of Haywards Health Harriers but when he returned to London in 1975 he joined the Essex Beagles club.

Later that year he won the first two decathlon competitions he entered, while in 1976 he won the AAA title and was the 18th at the Montréal Olympic Games.

The following year, he won the European Junior Title and in 1978 came the first of his three Commonwealth titles.

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