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Damian Warner, of Canada reacts after winning a heat of the decathlon men's 110-meter hurdles at the 2020 Summer Olympics on Aug. 5, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.Charlie Riedel/The Associated Press

Canada’s Damian Warner got off to a strong Day 2 start in his quest for an Olympic decathlon title.

The 31-year-old from London, Ont., ran an Olympic decathlon record of 13.46 seconds in the 110-metre hurdles in the day’s first event.

He waved and said hi to partner Jen Cotten, their son Theo and his mom after he crossed the finish line.

He followed that up with a solid third-place showing in discus, with a toss of 48.67 metres.

Damian Warner, of Canada, competes in the decathlon discus throw at the 2020 Summer Olympics on Aug. 5, 2021, in Tokyo.David J. Phillip/The Associated Press

Warner took a commanding lead into the final three events – pole vault, javelin and the 1,500 metres – with a total score of 6,610 points. Australia’s Ashley Moloney was second with 6,359 while Canada’s Pierce LePage was in third with 6,265.

Just 14 hours after racing to gold in the men’s 200 final, Andre De Grasse ran a sizzling anchor leg to put Canada’s 4x100 relay into Friday’s final.

Jamaica had the fastest time on the morning of 37.82, while China ran 37.92 for second-place over Canada in a decision that was determined by thousandths of a second in a photo finish.

Aaron Brown, who was sixth in Wednesday’s 200 metres, ran the lead-off leg, followed by Jerome Blake and Brendon Rodney. Racing for the seventh time of these Games, De Grasse took the baton from Rodney in about fifth place, before churning down the home-stretch to cross the line alongside China.

Warner, meanwhile, has hit several milestones over the last two days in his pursuit of gold. He set the Olympic decathlon record in the long jump, and tied his own decathlon best mark in the 100 metres on Day 1.

Warner is the reigning Olympic bronze medallist and is also a world silver medallist, and he said watching Canada’s Andre De Grasse win gold in the 200 metres on Wednesday night was inspiring. Like Warner, De Grasse had won numerous silver and bronze on the world stage before earning his gold.

Warner is coming off an extraordinary winter that saw him train in an empty, unheated hockey arena that his coaches converted to a multi-events facility after COVID-19 shut down the University of Western Ontario fieldhouse. He and his coaches built a long jump pit, brought in a pole jump pit, built a throwing circle and laid down a 40-metre section of track.

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