Damian Warner wins Olympic gold in decathlon
Canadian finishes with Games record of 9,018 points
© Provided by National Post Damian Warner put together a strong showing on both days of the Olympic decathlon at the Tokyo Summer Games.
Canada’s Damian Warner isn’t just leaving Tokyo with a gold medal.
He’s leaving his name all over the Olympic history books, too
The 31-year-old from London, Ont., dominated the men’s decathlon, leading from wire-to-wire in the gruelling two-day competition that features 10 different track and field disciplines. Along the way, he set a new Olympic standard with 9,018 points, the fourth-highest decathlon score of all-time at any meet.
While there were hopes for a podium double for Team Canada, Pierce LePage finished fifth.
Warner’s triumph capped a successful day for Canada in Tokyo. Laurence Vincent-Lapointe earlier captured silver in the 200-metre canoe sprint, while track cyclist Lauriane Genest landed a surprise bronze in the women’s keirin.
Canada’s medal count is now at 18, including five gold.
Warner earned bronze at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio — it was there Ashton Eaton of the U.S. made history with an 8,893-point haul — and was considered a frontrunner for gold as he arrived in Tokyo. He certainly lived up to that lofty billing.
He shattered the previous Olympic decathlon record in three of the 10 individual events, too — with a 10.12-second sprint in the 100-metre dash, with a leap of 8.24 metres in long jump and with a clocking of 13.46 seconds in the 110-metre hurdles.
Because the 100m and long jump are the first events on the itinerary, Warner surged Wednesday to an early lead.
Nobody would ever catch up. Nobody would really come close.
In Thursday’s evening session, the end of this two-day drain, Warner chucked a javelin a season-high 63.44 metres and then sealed his victory with a 4:31.08 cruise in the 1,500m. If you were wondering if he was tired, he picked off several opponents on the last lap.
Kevin Mayer of France scored silver with 8,726 points, while Ashley Moloney of Australia rounds out the podium at 8,649.
LePage collected 8,604 points. The 25-year-old from Whitby, Ont., was third on the leaderboard after the opening day and maintained that spot until the javelin throw. With a toss of 57.24 metres, he was leapfrogged by a couple of rivals.
Elsewhere on the track, Canada has booked its spot in a pair of relay finals.
In the men’s 4x100m, Aaron Brown, Jerome Blake, Brendon Rodney and Andre De Grasse completed their lap in 37.92 seconds. (De Grasse was then back at the track a few hours later to accept his gold medal as the Olympic champion in the 200m.)
Canada’s crew in the women’s 4x400m — Alicia Brown, Sage Watson, Madeline Price and Kyra Constantine — will also have a shot at gold after a season-best 3:24.05 in a very competitive semi-final.