It was an exciting first day in the men’s decathlon, where two Canadians sit in podium positions heading into Day 2 of the 10-event schedule. Canada’s Damian Warner was off to a hot start by equalling his world’s best in the 100m with a time of 10.12, then following it up with an Olympic best 8.24 in the long jump (four centimetres short of his Canadian long-jump record).
In the high jump, Warner left the door slightly open, as he bowed out just short of his season’s best jump of 2.09m. Warner managed to return to his form over the last event, running a season’s best of 47.48 over 400m.
Warner’s compatriot, Pierce LePage, put up four great performances in the 100m, long jump, shot put and 400m to sit in the bronze medal position going into the second day of events. LePage performs well against the field in the throwing and jumping events, due to his size and strength. LePage is making his decathlon Olympic debut in Tokyo after winning a silver medal in the event at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and following it up with a bronze medal at the 2019 Pan-Am Games.
Going into Tokyo, LePage and Warner were both listed as favourites in this event. 2016 silver medallist Kevin Mayer sits in fifth position going into day 2, and his best events are on day 2, so expect to see him move up. One athlete to keep your eye on is Ashley Moloney from Australia; this 21-year-old decathlete has been setting records domestically and internationally since turning pro. Moloney currently sits second and will rely on the jumping events to excel on day 2. Moloney and Mayer gained ground on the Canadian contingent over the high jump portion on day 1 to keep them both in contention as we approach day 2.
Top 5 in decathlon after Day 1:
- Damian Warner (CAN) – 4,722 points
- Ashley Moloney (AUS) – 4,641 points – (national record after day 1)
- Pierce LePage (CAN) – 4,529 points
- Steven Bastian (USA) – 4,369 points
- Kevin Mayer (FRA) – 4,340 points
Events to come on Day 2 of the decathlon: 110m hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin and 1,500m.
For full results, click here.
Johnson-Thompson withdraws from heptathlon with injury
In the first day of competition in the women’s Heptathlon, the 2019 world champion, Katarina Johnson-Thompson, had to withdraw, pulling up with an injury to her heavily taped right achilles in the first heat of the 200m. The British athlete was sitting in fifth position after the first three events (100m hurdles, high jump and shot put), with 2,886 points, but her dream of an Olympic medal is now dashed. Johnson-Thompson collapsed on the track, but refused a wheelchair and jogged it out to finish the race.
After four events, Canada’s Georgia Ellenwood sits in 15th position going into day 2. Ellenwood achieved a seasonal best in the high jump of 1.83m and came close to bests in the 100m hurdles and 200m. Ellenwood currently has 3,690 points and is on pace for a personal best over the multi-day event. She sits 278 points back of the leader from the Netherlands, Anouk Vetter.
Vetter said she was “shocked” to discover she was at the top of the leaderboard despite producing a clean and average performance without making any major errors. That seems to be the story of multi-events, as many athletes unfortunately had to bow out of competition at the end of Day 1.
Events to come on Day 2 of the heptathlon: long jump, javelin throw and 800m.
For full results, click here.