In an exciting and dramatic two days, Canadians Damian Warner and Pierce LePage took first and second place in the men’s decathlon at the Hypo-Meeting in Götzis, Austria this weekend. In his first decathlon since 2019, Warner set a world best in the decathlon long jump and earned 8,995 points, the highest total in the world this year, while his fellow Canadian ran to an 80-point personal best of 8,534 points for second place.
— Jim McDannald, DPM (@jmcdannald) May 29, 2021
After just three events, Warner and LePage took the lead and never looked back. On the first day of competition, Warner, who lives and trains in London, Ont., jumped an incredible 8.28 metres, surpassing American Ashton Eaton’s former world best 8.23 metres, set in 2012. In an interview with SportsNet, the 31-year-old said he had been a long jumper in high school with dreams of going to the Olympics in the event, but after a few injuries and setbacks, he moved on to the decathlon.
“It has kind of picked at me,” he explained. “‘Would I have been able to make it as a long jumper,? This result was awesome because it showed if I stuck with it and keep working at it then I can compete with some of the world’s best.”
On the second day of competition, Warner set another world best in the 110m hurdles in 13.36 seconds, beating his previous decathlon best by 0.8 seconds. This brought his total points up to 8,795, putting 9,000 points in sight. For context, only three men have ever surpassed 9,000 points, including Kevin Mayer of France (9,126 points in 2018), Eaton (9,045 points in 2015) and Roman Šebrle (9,026 points in 2001).
In the last event of the competition, the 1,500m, Warner poured it on in the final 300m, crossing the finish line in 4:25.19, bringing his point total up to an agonizingly close 8,995 points and giving him the fourth all-time best score in the world. His teammate, LePage, also ran an incredible final 1,500, closing out the competition in 4:40.69 (a five-second personal best) for second place with a total 8,534 points.
Both men have already qualified for the Olympics, and these results are an exciting indication of what we might see from them in Tokyo this summer.