Canada’s Damian Warner opened his quest for an Olympic decathlon title in emphatic fashion.
The 31-year-old from London, Ont., ran 10.12 seconds in the 100 metres to tie his decathlon world record in the event, then put down a long jump of 8.24 metres, 0.04 off his world decathlon best and a new Olympic record in the sport. The distance would have been enough to win bronze in the event earlier this week.
“I felt like I kind of had a stutter going into that jump, and then I landed and I think I turned to my coach and was just like, ‘I think it’s over eight metres.’ And he’s just like, ‘Oh, it’s 8.24.’ I don’t know how, but I’ll take it,” Warner said after the race.
Warner then threw a season-best time of 14.80 metres in the shot put, considered one of his weaker events.
“I feel like out of the three events today, that was the one that was the lowest point value. But I think it’s the one I’m happiest about. Because all year shot put’s been inconsistent for me,” he said.
WATCH | Warner ties record in decathlon’s 100 metres:
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Warner is the No. 1-ranked decathlete in the world this year after shattering his Canadian record at the Hypo-Meeting in Gotzis, Austria. His score of 8,995 there was the fourth best in history, and through three events in Tokyo he is on pace to break the record once again.
“It was awesome that I was not only able to jump far, but to repeat the same performance I had earlier this year. I couldn’t ask for a better start in this decathlon and I gotta just keep executing and keep competing and hopefully we’re getting the result we’re looking for,” Warner said.
Warner (2,966 points) and fellow Canadian Pierce LePage (2,773) now sit first and second in the overall standings through three events. While Warner won the 100m and long jump, he placed 11th in shot put. LePage, meanwhile, placed top-four in all three events.
WATCH | Warner, LePage win long-jump groups:
LePage ran 10.43 in the 100m, the third-fastest time on the morning. Like Warner, LePage won his long-jump group with a season-best distance of 7.65 metres. The mark was only bested by Warner across the entire field.
LePage, of Whitby, Ont., then threw a personal best of his own in shot put, winning a group featuring Warner and world-record holder Kevin Mayer of France with a distance of 15.31 metres.
WATCH | LePage takes top spot in shot put:
Warner’s record-breaking performance in May came after a winter of training in an unheated hockey arena in London. COVID-19 protocols shut down the University of Western Ontario indoor track facility, so his coaches outfitted the arena with a 40-metre track runway, pole vault and high jump pits, and a throwing circle.
The decathletes face gruelling conditions in Tokyo. The temperature at Olympic Stadium at 9 a.m. for the 100 metres was 33 C, but felt like 47 C with the humidity.
The decathlon features 10 events over two days. They still have the shot put, high jump and 400 metres on Wednesday. Thursday’s Day 2 events are the 110-metre hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and the 1,500 metres.
Canada’s Ellenwood in women’s heptathlon hunt
Meanwhile, Canada’s Georgia Ellenwood is eighth in the heptathlon following two events.
In her Olympic debut, the 25-year-old was 13th in the 100m hurdles with a time of 13.47 seconds and sixth in the high jump at 1.83 metres, a personal-best mark.
Ellenwood, of Langley, B.C., finished 11th at the 2021 Hypo-Meeting, and soon after set a personal record of 6,314 points.
The Canadian currently sits at 2,071 in Tokyo, with shot put, the 200m, long jump, javelin throw and the 800m still to come. Competition resumes later Wednesday evening in Tokyo.
Published at Wed, 04 Aug 2021 01:26:47 +0000