Damian Warner, of Canada, crosses the finish line in the decathlon 1500-meters during the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023. Warner finished second overall. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Damian Warner strikes gold at Hypomeeting, Ceili McCabe sets national record

Canadian track and field athletes showcased their strength and speed over the past few days, smashing records, clinching medals, and achieving remarkable feats.

The reigning Olympic decathlon champion won the Hypomeeting Götiz for the eighth time. Tallying a score of 8678 points assumed over two days of competition, Damian Warner proves that he’s ready to defend his coveted title this summer in Paris. This marks his first multi-sport competition since finishing second at last year’s World Athletics Championships.

23 athletes settled in the starting blocks for the 100m to open the 10-event competition on Saturday at Mösle Stadium in Götzis, Austria.

34-year-old Warner came out strong clocking a time of 10.20 seconds in the 100m, seizing an early lead. His stellar performance continued as he secured second place in the men’s 400m and third position in the long jump. 

As the sun set on the first day of competition, Warner found himself in a battle for the top spot with a total of 4585 points, trailing just 16 points behind the leader, Simon Ehammer of Switzerland. 

READ: The Road to Impossible: Damian Warner on Canada’s ascendence in athletics and the journey to Paris 2024

On Sunday, he secured first place in the 110m hurdles, a commendable second place in the discus throw, and padded his decathlon lead through the next couple of events before bringing it home in the 1500m race. 

The defending champion Pierce LePage was not competing this weekend. LePage, the world’s top-ranked men’s decathlete, has yet to compete outdoors this year. Last May, LePage earned his first international victory since 2019, compiling 8,700 points, one shy of his personal best, to halt fellow Canadian Warner’s win streak.

Ceili McCabe sets Canadian steeplechase record

Ceili McCabe had an excellent showing at the Los Angeles Grand Prix on Friday, winning the women’s 3000m steeplechase event. Her time of 9:20.58 allowed her to set a new Canadian record and surpass the Olympic Standard Time of 9:23.00 by two and a half seconds.

This will be McCabe’s first trip to the Olympics; she has represented Canada at the past two World Athletics Championships.

The previous Canadian record of 9:22.40 was held by Geneviève Lalonde and was set during Tokyo 2020. Lalonde lowered the record twice in Tokyo – once in the semifinals and again in the final. 

In the hammer throw event, Camryn Rogers secured third place with a throw of 75.56 meters on her sixth attempt, surpassing the Olympic Standard Distance. On the men’s front, Jean-Simon Desgagnés claimed the top spot in the 3000m steeplechase. Aaron Brown showcased his prowess in the men’s 100m final, clinching third position with a time of 10.23 seconds.

De Grasse second in 100m, Mitton third in shot up at Marrakech Diamond League

Andre De Grasse was second in the 100m at the Marrakech Diamond League meeting in Morocco on Sunday. The Canadian finished with a time of 10.19 seconds, 0.08 behind winner Emmanuel Eseme of Cameroon. Great Britain’s Jeremiah Azu was third in 10.26. De Grasse’s time was 0.08 behind his season-best run of 10.11.

On the women’s side, Sarah Mitton collected a third-place finish in the women’s shot put. Mitton had her longest throw of 19.36 metres in Marrakech, behind winner Chase Jackson of the U.S. (20.00), and second-placed German Yemisi Ogunleye (19.40).

Mitton still owns this season’s world-leading throw of 20.68, set last weekend at the Throws U 2024 Series meeting in Fleetwood, Pa.