Damian Warner, one of the world’s best decathletes for the best part of a decade, fulfilled two of his lifelong goals in one go in Tokyo, winning decathlon gold with an Olympic record of 9018.
The Canadian became just the fourth man in history to break the 9000-point barrier, joining decathlon legends Roman Sebrle, Ashton Eaton and Kevin Mayer. Warner also landed his first global title, having finished in the top five at the past six outdoor global championships, picking up Olympic bronze in 2016 as well as world silver in 2015 and world bronze in 2013 and 2019.
The 31-year-old won in style, too, leading from the very first event and setting three Olympic decathlon bests along the way. The first of those came in the 100m, the opening discipline, as Warner sped to a 10.14 clocking.
He then extended his lead with an 8.24m leap in the long jump – another Olympic decathlon best and farther than the bronze-medal-winning leap in the individual event.
His main rival, world record-holder Kevin Mayer, also got off to a good start, clocking 10.68 in the 100m and leaping 7.50m in the long jump. But he was behind 21-year-old Australian Ashley Moloney, who had an impressive start with 10.34 in the 100m and 7.64m in the long jump, and Canada’s Pierce LePage.
Warner continued the series of his life on the first day with 14.80m in the shot, 2.02m in the high jump and 47.48 in the 400m, ending the day still in first place with 4722.
Moloney briefly dropped to third after the shot put (14.49m) but moved back into second place after producing the best marks of the day in the high jump (2.11m) and 400m (46.29). LePage ended the first day in third, helped by a 15.31m shot put and a 46.92 run in the 400m.
Mayer, who always excels on the second day, was fifth after the first five events, just two points ahead of US champion Garrett Scantling.
SOURCE: WORLD ATHLETICS