Damian Warner sets Canadian/Pan Am Records, Wins Gold in Decathalon

It was a brilliant week for Damian Warner in the Men’s Decathalon at the Pan Am Games at York University.  The 25-year-old had personal bests in the 100 metres, the long jump, the discus and the 1,500 metre races, on route to putting up 8,659 points. The total was enough to set a new Pan Am Games Decathalon record, a decathalon record for a Canadian in any competition, and most importantly to win the Decathalon Gold Medal.

Competing just down the road from his hometown in London, Ontario; friends and family were in attendance to see Warner clinch the Canadian in Thursday nights 1500 metres, the final event of the Decathalon.  While he had all but wrapped up the gold earlier in the day, he needed a personal best to break Michael Smith’s 19 year old Canadian Record, and he did just that.

“I wanted the Canadian record so bad and I didn’t think there was a better place to have it than here at home,” Warner said.

He was glad to share the credit for the record, giving heavy praise to teammates who push him in training and the coaches who work with him on technique.

“I keep improving and I’m going to keep improving and I’m just glad I get to share it with them,” he said, of his coaches and teammates.

“I don’t think people understand the bond that we have, it’s like a family and I’m hoping that I can start with them and, one day, be a world record holder and Olympic champion with them behind me.”

Warner, who finished 5th in the London Olympics, now looks forward to next month’s Track and Field World Championships, and futher to the 2016 Rio Olympics, where he is considered a real threat to get on the podium.

Main Photo courtesy of Jason Ransome, Canadian Olympic Committee