Warner wins decathlon gold, breaks Canadian, Pan Am records at TO2015
Over two days Damian Warner not only won gold in the 10-event decathlon in Toronto, he also broke the Pan Am Games record and the long-held national mark by Canadian athletics legend Michael Smith.
(Now former) Pan Am Games record holder, Leonel Suarez of Cuba, had a front row view to the smashing of his mark (8373) set four years ago in Guadalajara. Suarez tried to defend his decathlon crown, but Warner would have none of it, posting 8659 points. That number from Warner also beat Smith’s old Canadian record of 8626 points set in 1996.
Here is how Warner completed 10 events in two days and broke a pair of records en route to winning Pan Am Games gold in Toronto:
Decathletes were separated by two heats. Warner started Day 1 with the best time of either heat, sprinting the 100 metres in 10.28 seconds, his best-ever time in that distance. That earned him 1028 points and the early lead. In decathlon, points are awarded based on time for running events, and distance on throwing and jumping disciplines.
The long jump was next for the 12 decathletes who started the Pan Am Games. Warner’s leap of 7.68 metres got him 980 points, once again the best of the decathlon field.
In shot put, Warner had the eighth best throw of 14.36m and added 750 points to his cause. At this stage through three events Warner was at 2758 points, leading Felipe dos Santos of Brazil by 70.
Clearing a height of 1.97m in high jump brought Warner 776 points. His 3534 aggregate total was, however, now just 15 free of Felipe dos Santos, who cleared 2.03m in the fourth discipline.
The final event of the first day in the decathlon brought Warner another win, when he legged out the 400m in 47.66 seconds with dos Santos chasing. The additional 926 points gave the Canadian a 4460 to 4397 advantage over his Brazilian counterpart.
Warner started the second day as he ended the first, by achieving best time and highest total points in discipline number six, the 110m hurdles. In his best event, Warner was the class of the field finishing in 13.44s. No other runner broke the 14-second mark and Warner increased his advantage over dos Santos by 149 points at 5508.
The discus had Warner netting the third longest throw of 47.56m, bettered only by his teammate Patrick Arbour and Grenada’s Victor Lindon. The 820 points earned took Warner’s total to 6328, well ahead of the field and heading toward record-setting territory.
At the eighth event, pole vault, Warner cleared the bar at 4.90m, gaining 790 points toward 7118 on aggregate. Interestingly, while Warner closed in on the Pan Am Games record held by Suarez, the Cuban failed to register a height in pole vault, effectively ending his chance at a podium. Suarez did not continue in the decathlon.
Warner’s javelin toss of 61.53m on his second of three attempts stood as his best, adding another 761 points to his account. With a total of 7879 points, Warner was 747 points back of Smith’s immortal mark and needed just 495 to obliterate the Pan Am Games record of Suarez. Warner’s personal best in the 1500m was 4:29.85 according to IAAF. The Pan Am record well within his grasp, to break the Canadian standard, Warner needed a new personal best of 4:29.5 or faster.
Warner did much better than 4:29.5 in the 1500m, crossing the line at 4:24.73, winning 780 points and smashing both Canadian and Pan Am Games records.
The newly minted top Canadian decathlete of all time said during his victory lap that the goal now will be to get some rest, something he has well earned and will need ahead of the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing next month.
Photos from the 1500m where Warner became decathlon champion: