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Damian Warner of Canada takes part in the shot put at the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday, one of the five decathlon events for the day. The medal will be decided on Thursday.

Andrew Boyers/Reuters


After completing his first day of competition in Tokyo sitting in first place, Canadian decathlete Damian Warner hung around trackside and watched Andre De Grasse sprint to his first Olympic gold medal.

“Now he’s the top dog that other people will be chasing,” Warner said Wednesday. “And hopefully I can follow in his footsteps tomorrow.”

After five events in the Olympic decathlon competition, Warner has a grip on first place, and the 31-year-old London, Ont., native is focused on steering it home for gold.

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After some career-best results Wednesday in the Tokyo Olympics, Warner (4,722 points) had a slim 81-point lead over Ashley Moloney of Australia (4,641), while fellow Canadian Pierce LePage sat third (4,529).

The medalists will be decided Thursday in Tokyo after the final five events.

Warner competes in the long jump.

Dylan Martinez/Reuters

A bronze medalist from the 2016 Rio Olympics, Warner is looking for an upgrade.

The top-ranked athlete in the decathlon world ranking took a fast lead in the competition on Wednesday morning with solid results in the first three events.

The three-time world medalist ran 10.12 seconds in the 100-metres to tie his decathlon world record in the event. Second he surprised even himself with a massive result, recording a long jump of 8.24 metres, a new Olympic decathlon best.

“When I took off, I felt like just another jump and I landed I turned to my coach, he was like, ‘Yeah, I think it’s like, I think it’s close to eight metres,’” said Warner. “When it came up on the board I was just, like, had no clue how that happened. But it’s consistency – two jumps over a 8.20, back-to-back in the decathlon? I’ll take it every single time.”

Warner then threw his shot put a season-best 14.80 metres.

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Warner competes in the high jump, one of the two events held in the evening to avoid the oppressive heat. The other three were in the morning.

Dylan Martinez/Reuters

Despite starting at 9 a.m. Tokyo time, the weather was extremely hot and humid – over 30 C. During the most extreme heat of the day, the decathletes were resting, and then they returned at night for the high jump and 400-metre race. “It was tough to manage,” said Warner, who expected it to be breezy at night but got no relief. “It was definitely not, it was quite hot and made the high jump and the 400 metres that much tougher, and I think tomorrow is supposed to be a little bit hotter.”

In the high jump, Warner missed his attempts at 2.05 metres and had to settle for 2.02. Yet he maintained his hold on first.

LePage, a 25-year-old first-time Olympian who lives in Whitby, Ont., was right behind Warner in second place after the morning session, but slipped to third after the night events.

LePage came to Tokyo with a world decathlon ranking of No. 4. He went to the Rio Olympics, but didn’t actually get to compete, so he’s driven to make the most of his opportunity in Japan.

On his first day in Tokyo, the 6-foot-7 Canadian ran the 100-m in 10.43 seconds, long-jumped 7.65 metres, and threw his shot put a career-best 15.31 metres.

In the high jump, he retired after one attempt at 2.02 metres, and went to get ready for his 400-m race. He was possibly facing an injury. He said he’s “going through some stuff,” and high jump is “the only event that really impacts,” but didn’t want to elaborate.

Warner, second from left, and Pierce LePage, second from right, run in the 100-m heats.

Charlie Riedel/The Associated Press

Both Canadians ran in the final 400-m race of the night. Warner led the race to start, until Moloney pulled up and passed him. The Aussie won the race in 46.29 seconds, while LePage surged to a second-place finish in a career-best 46.92, with Warner third in a season-best 47.48.

“I saw Ashley and Damian really far ahead and I was like, well I can’t let that happen,” said LePage. “So I just kept going and when I finished and I was like, I’m done, and I think I was the last guy to get up. So I’m happy with it, but it’s hot out there.”

They had just 11 hours until they return to the track Thursday for the 110-metre hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and the 1,500-metre race. Both Canadians anticipated they wouldn’t sleep much.

“By the time we get an ice bath, get a massage, get some food, it’s going to be probably around midnight, and then we kind of have to get up around 5 [a.m.] tomorrow so not going to be much sleep,” said Warner. “It’s going to be hot again tomorrow. ... It’s gonna be tough. But I’ve been doing the decathlon for a little while and I hope that some of my old-age tricks will come into play.”



visual guide

How do all the Olympic athletic events work?

SCHEDULE

Qualification

Medal

JULY

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

Track & Field

Marathon

Race Walk

AUGUST

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Track & Field

Marathon

Race Walk

Athletics has been on the Olympics program since 1896, with women’s events being added at Amsterdam 1928. The largest single sport at the Games, Athletics is divided into track, field and road events

Standard

stadium layout

Track

Throws & Jumps

Finish line for

all track events

100 m

The 100m sprint is run on a straight course and is one of the most eagerly awaited events at the Games. The current men's 100m world record of 9.58 seconds was set by Usain Bolt (Jamaica) in 2009

TRACK EVENTS

Men only

Women only

Mixed

SPRINTS

MIDDLE

DISTANCE

LONG

DISTANCE

100m

200m

400m

800m

1,500m

5,000m

10,000m

RELAYS

HURDLES

STEEPLE-

CHASE

4 x 100m

4 x 400m

4 x 400m

100m (W)

110m (M)

400m

3,000m

FIELD EVENTS | JUMPS

High Jump

Long Jump

Triple Jump

Pole Vault

FIELD EVENTS | THROWS

Discus

Hammer

Javelin

ROAD EVENTS

Shot Put

Marathon

Race Walk

20km

50km

TRACK & FIELD | COMBINED

Two-day contest to find the ultimate all-round athlete covers a range of disciplines

Decathlon*

– 10 events

Heptathlon*

– 7 events

* Decathlon: 100m, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400m, 110m hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin, 1,500m

* Heptathlon: 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200m, long jump, javelin, 800m

SOURCE: REUTERS

SCHEDULE

Qualification

Medal

JULY

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

Track & Field

Marathon

Race Walk

AUGUST

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Track & Field

Marathon

Race Walk

Athletics has been on the Olympics program since 1896, with women’s events being added at Amsterdam 1928. The largest single sport at the Games, Athletics is divided into track, field and road events

Standard

stadium layout

Track

Throws & Jumps

Finish line

for all track events

100 m

The 100m sprint is run on a straight course and is one of the most eagerly awaited events at the Games. The current men's 100m world record of 9.58 seconds was set by Usain Bolt (Jamaica) in 2009

TRACK EVENTS

Men only

Women only

Mixed

SPRINTS

MIDDLE

DISTANCE

LONG

DISTANCE

100m

200m

400m

800m

1,500m

5,000m

10,000m

RELAYS

HURDLES

STEEPLE-

CHASE

4 x 100m

4 x 400m

4 x 400m

100m (W)

110m (M)

400m

3,000m

FIELD EVENTS | JUMPS

High Jump

Long Jump

Triple Jump

Pole Vault

FIELD EVENTS | THROWS

Discus

Hammer

Javelin

ROAD EVENTS

Shot Put

Marathon

Race Walk

20km

50km

TRACK & FIELD | COMBINED

Two-day contest to find the ultimate all-round athlete covers a range of disciplines

Decathlon*

– 10 events

Heptathlon*

– 7 events

* Decathlon: 100m, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400m, 110m hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin, 1,500m

* Heptathlon: 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200m, long jump, javelin, 800m

SOURCE: REUTERS

SCHEDULE

Qualification

Medal

JULY

AUGUST

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Track & Field

Marathon

Race Walk

Athletics has been on the Olympics program since 1896, with women’s events being added at Amsterdam 1928. The largest single sport at the Games, Athletics is divided into track, field and road events

The 100m sprint is run on a straight course and is one of the most eagerly awaited events at the Games. The current men's 100m world record of 9.58 seconds was set by Usain Bolt (Jamaica) in 2009

Standard

stadium layout

Track

Throws & Jumps

Finish line

for all track events

100 m

TRACK EVENTS

TRACK EVENTS

Men only

Women only

Mixed

SPRINTS

MIDDLE

DISTANCE

LONG

DISTANCE

RELAYS

100m

200m

400m

4 x 100m

4 x 400m

4 x 400m

800m

1,500m

5,000m

10,000m

HURDLES

STEEPLECHASE

100m (W)

110m (M)

400m

3,000m

FIELD EVENTS | JUMPS

High Jump

Long Jump

Triple Jump

Pole Vault

FIELD EVENTS | THROWS

Discus

Hammer

Javelin

Shot Put

TRACK & FIELD | COMBINED

Two-day contest to find the ultimate all-round athlete covers a range of disciplines

ROAD EVENTS

Decathlon*

– 10 events

Heptathlon*

– 7 events

Marathon

Race Walk

20km

50km

* Decathlon: 100m, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400m, 110m hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin, 1,500m

* Heptathlon: 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200m, long jump, javelin, 800m

SOURCE: REUTERS


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