Swiss heptathlete overtakes Damian Warner for world indoor lead ahead of final event
Damian Warner trails for the first time in two days at the world athletics indoor championships.
The Canadian star opened Saturday’s action in heptathlon with a 7.61-second victory in the men’s 60-metre hurdles to open a 38-point lead over Simon Ehammer, only for the Swiss athlete to clear 5.10 metres in pole vault to take a 23-point advantage into the final event of the competition.
CBCSports.ca will live stream the 1,000 at 2:30 p.m. ET as Warner tries to win his first heptathlon in three appearances at world indoors. You can also follow all the aciton live on CBC Gem, and the CBC Sports app.
Warner’s personal best in the 1,000 is two minutes 37.12 seconds from 2018 world indoors, while Ehammer ran 2:51.14 in February 2020.
Warner placed seventh overall at 2014 world indoors and second four years later, five points behind reigning champion Kevin Mayer.
WATCH | Warner runs 7.61 seconds in 60m hurdles, tying personal best:
The Frenchman isn’t competing in Belgrade, Serbia, having withdrawn earlier this month due to Achilles problems that worsened after contracting coronavirus in January, which followed his second vaccine shot last September.
‘I’m still fast … so anything’s possible’
Before world indoors, the 32-year-old Warner suggested he might surprise himself with a strong performance in the 1,000.
“I’m still fast,” the London, Ont., native told CBC Sports, “and I know I’m in good shape and healthy, so anything’s possible.”
Ashley Moloney of Australia, the 2020 Olympic bronze medallist, is 107 points back of Warner in third.
“I’m going [to Serbia] to win,” said Warner, who cleared 4.90 in Saturday’s pole vault to match his PB, as he did in hurdles. “It won’t be easy, but it never is. You want to get a personal best and winning would be icing on the cake. You also want to see that you’re in good shape.”
Seven months ago, Warner won gold at the Summer Games for the first time with an Olympic record 9,018 points to defeat Mayer (8,726).
In mid-February, Warner was in a funk at practice and told his coach, Gar Leyshon, he felt “terrible” and “not ready” to compete at world indoors. But coach Dennis Nielsen, longtime physiotherapist Dave Zelibka and sports psychologist Jean Francois Menard rallied around him, telling Warner he was in better physical condition than he thought.
“I think there’s still a little bit of that funk in me, but I’m headed in the right direction with the steps we’ve taken this year from a technical standpoint and training-wise,” Warner said.
Published at Sat, 19 Mar 2022 14:23:52 +0000