It cannot be easy following in the footsteps of arguably the greatest all-round athlete Britain has ever produced, but Elliot Thompson proved himself worthy of his father Daley’s name by claiming his first national decathlon title in Manchester on Saturday.
A late convert to the sport after focusing on rugby in his youth, Elliot only took up decathlon in 2016 aged 24. Six years on, he triumphed in Manchester with a points tally of 7,197 to claim gold 46 years after his double Olympic champion father won his first British title.
He still has some way to go to match his father’s achievements though. In an illustrious career, Daley claimed two Olympic, one world, three Commonwealth and two European titles, as well as setting four world records. His British record of 8,847 points still stands to this day.
“He’ll be happy,” said Elliot of his father. “He probably expected more but I think that’s probably what most dads think of their sons.
“It wasn’t my best performance so the score wasn’t great, but it was a good competition.”
Asked whether his father is involved in his coaching setup, Elliot joked: “No, he’s an awful coach.
“I think when it comes naturally to you, it’s quite difficult to describe sometimes. So I almost find the people who have had to learn it more make the best coaches.”
Speaking to The Sun about Elliot’s decision to adopt the decathlon in 2017, Daley said: “I have no idea why he is doing it! But he seems to be enjoying it, training hard and having a good time.
“He played rugby at school so he still had my name to contend with there, but this sort of came out of the blue.
“I’m not involved in his coaching and I don’t give him any tips. I’m his dad and I leave him to get on with it. I don’t think he’s even watched film of me competing. I don’t think the world is ready for another me!”
Elliot, whose personal best 7,204 points score places him 82nd on the British all-time list, said he hopes to improve despite reducing his training time from next week due to a new job as a mobile phone app developer.
“I’m going to continue competing especially as I am getting faster at the moment,” he said.
Elliot was not the only person to extend a famous athletics family dynasty in Manchester on Saturday.
Nine years after making her British Championships debut, Victoria Ohuruogu stepped out of her Olympic champion sister - and now coach - Christine’s shadow to win her first national 400m title and make her first senior team, at the upcoming World Championships, as an individual.
Before the competition, Victoria had opened up to Telegraph Sport on the difficulty of competing in the same event as her older sister, with her personal best stalling from 2013 until an upturn in fortunes last summer.
“I think I struggled with the comparisons probably more than I realised,” she said.
“For the most part I saw it as a huge positive: I had a super-successful sister and I could train with her. It was great as a younger athlete trying to emulate her.
“Now I’m realising as I get older that I thought I was dealing with it, but it was probably quite rough.”