Olympic Men’s Decathlon — Another Member For The 9000 Club

With his 9018-point total, Damian Warner is now one of only 5 ever to crack the 9000 barrier. (JEAN-PIERRE DURAND/PHOTO RUN)

MAKING UP FOR WHAT HE VIEWED as a disappointing bronze in Rio, Damian Warner crossed the 1500 line with a triumphant “Whoa!” With that, he had not only a gold medal in his pocket, but also an Olympic Record and membership in the 10-eventer’s most elite club.

“9000 points is one of those magical barriers,” said the 31-year-old Canadian. “Earlier this year in Austria, I missed it by 5 points. I thought then that I blew the opportunity. Fortunately, I got another shot. I almost let it go in the 1500 but I fought as hard as I could and I joined that club with only 4 other guys.”

100 Meters: Predictably, hot & humid conditions greeted the decathletes for the opening event, but it did not seem to affect Warner, as he streaked 10.12 to equal his own world decathlon best. Aussie newbie Ash Moloney finished 2nd in 10.34, also a PR. Warner’s teammate Pierce LePage was 3rd (10.43), followed by a PR 10.55 for American Zach Ziemek. France’s favored WR holder Kevin Mayer ran 10.68.

Long Jump: Warner’s hot start continued with a spectacular 27-½ (8.24), a mark that would have been good enough for bronze in the open event. LePage was next with his 25-1¼ (7.65) and Moloney backed up his 100 with 25-¾ (7.64).

Shot: LePage tossed a PR 50-2¾ (15.31) to overtake Moloney (47-6½/14.49) for 2nd. Warner threw 48-6¾ (14.80) to remain on top, while Mayer maintained 4th with his 49-5½ (15.07). The U.S.’s Garrett Scantling had the day’s second-best throw (51-1¾/15.59) to move him into 5th.

High Jump: Moloney retook 2nd over LePage with his 6-11 (2.11). Warner jumped 6-7½ (2.02) to take a 141-point lead over Moloney heading into the 400. Mayer’s 6-9¾ (2.08) kept him in 4th while Ziemek cleared 6-6 (2.05) to move into in 5th.

400 Meters: Moloney’s 46.29 was the fastest of the day and kept him in the silver slot, with LePage just behind in 46.92 and Warner 3rd at 47.48. Third American Steven Bastien’s 47.64 moved him from 6th to 4th, while Mayer slipped to 5th after his 50.31, far from his PR of 48.26. He clearly hadn’t made it back to full form after a sequence of injury problems.

Day 1 ended with Warner (4722) on top by 81 over Moloney (4641), with LePage (4529) down 193, followed by Bastien (4369), Mayer (4340) and Scantling (4338).

110 Hurdles: Another of Warner’s prime events opened Day 2 and Mayer’s 13.90 from the first heat would move him into 4th. Heat III had the heavy hitters and Warner prevailed with a 13.46, extending his lead over Moloney to 162 after the Aussie finished behind Scantling 14.03–14.08. LePage and Bastien ran 14.39 and 14.42.

Discus: Warner really distanced himself from the field after an excellent 159-8 (48.67) . With Moloney (145-7/44.38), LePage (154-8/47.14), Mayer (157-9/48.08) and Scantling (149-1/45.46) being unable to make a dent, Warner increased his lead to 251 over Moloney.

Pole Vault: In a not particularly strong event for Warner, the Canuck equaled his PR at 16-¾ (4.90) on his third attempt to stay on pace to crack 9000. Moloney and LePage both cleared 16-4¾ to remain 2nd and 3rd, while Mayer’s 17-¾ (5.20) moved him closer to a podium position. Scantling stayed 5th with his 16-8¾ (5.10).

With Warner comfortably ahead by 221, the battle for silver and bronze focused on Maloney, LePage, Mayer and Scantling.

Javelin: Warner threw 208-1 (63.44) to solidify his hold on 1st, but it was Mayer’s PR 239-9 (73.09) that thrust him into 2nd as LePage could only manage 187-9 (57.24), going from 3rd to 5th. Moloney moved into 3rd with his 187-5 (57.12), with Scantling 4th after his seasonal-best 226-8 (69.10).

1500 Meters: Warner, who ran 4:45.19 at Götzis in May, needed 4:33.85 to get to 9000 and 4:15 to reach Mayer’s WR, but only 4:51 to match the 8893 OR shared by Roman Šebrle and Ashton Eaton.

Moloney needed to be within 11 seconds of Mayer if he were to take the silver, but with a PR of 4:42.65 dating from ’18 and a season’s best of 4:47.84, he would need a herculean effort to not only catch the Frenchman, but also to stay ahead of Scantling.

The race got under way with Warner knowing the splits he needed to crack 9000. With a lap go, he was behind pace, but started a furious kick that would ultimately put him ahead of his goal. His 4:31.08 would set the OR and net him 9018 points, making him the first Canadian to win the Olympic gold.

The race for silver was furious, as Moloney, who was being paced and encouraged by countryman Cedric Dubler, tried to narrow the gap to Mayer, who was just 3 seconds ahead at 1200. Dubler left Moloney to his own with 200 to go as the latter tried to get as much distance from Mayer as he could. He finished in 4:39.19, with Mayer 3.8 seconds behind in 4:43.17, securing his second consecutive silver with his 8726. Moloney’s 8649 not only notched bronze, but also gave him an NR. Scantling’s 4:35.54 landed him 4th at 8611, a scant 4 points ahead of a LePage, whose 4:31.85 PR left him in 5th.

Warner reflected, “It’s crazy. When I was in grade 6 I wrote in a school project that I’d be in the Olympics one day, and who would have known that I would be an Olympic gold medalist. When I came around at 1200m I was 3 seconds off the pace. I was like, ‘If I’m going to get this 9000 points I have to go now’. I gave it everything I had. It wasn’t pretty but we got the job done.”


MEN’S DECATHLON RESULTS

(August 04–05)

1. Damian Warner (Can) 9018 NR (WL) (4, 5 W) (OR)

(10.12 [=Dec WR Warner ’19], 27-½/8.24, 48-6¾/14.80, 6-7½/2.02, 47.48 [4722–1], 13.46, 159-8/48.67, 16-¾/4.90 =PR, 208-2/63.44, 4:31.08 [4296]);

2. Kevin Mayer (Fra) 8726

(10.68, 24-7¼/7.50, 49-5½/15.07, 6-9¾/2.08, 50.31 [4340–5], 13.90, 157-9/48.08, 17-¾/5.20, 239-9/73.09, 4:43.17 [4386]);

3. Ash Moloney (Aus) 8649 NR

(10.34, 25-¾/7.64, 47-6½/14.49, 6-11/2.11, 46.29 [4641–2], 14.08, 145-7/44.38, 16-4¾/5.00, 187-5/57.12, 4:39.19 [4008]);

4. Garrett Scantling (US) 8611

(10.67, 23-11½/7.30, 51-1¾/15.59, 6-6¼/1.99, 48.25 [4338–6], 14.03, 149-2/45.46, 16-8¾/5.10, 226-8/69.10, 4:35.54 [4273]);

5. Pierce LePage (Can) 8604 PR

(10.43, 25-1¼/7.65, 50-2¾/15.31, 6-6¼/1.99, 46.92 [4529–3], 14.39, 154-8/47.14, 16-4¾/5.00, 187-9/57.24, 4:31.85 [4075]);

6. Zach Ziemek (US) 8435

(10.55, 23-7½/7.20, 49-2¼/14.99, 6-8¾/2.05, 49.06 [4322–7], 14.51, 147-2/44.87, 17-4½/5.30, 198-3/60.44, 4:38.38 [4113]);

7. Lindon Victor (Grn) 8414

(10.67, 23-9/7.24, 50-6/15.39, 6-7½/2.02, 49.21 [4293–9], 14.83, 163-2/49.75, 16-¾/4.90, 234-9/71.56, 4:54.32 [4121]);

8. Ilya Shkurenyov (Rus) 8413

(10.93, 24-11/7.59, 49-¾/14.95, 6-6¼/1.99, 48.98 [4276–11], 14.43, 154-3/47.02, 16-8¾/5.10, 199-11/60.95, 4:34.62 [4137]);

9. Jorge Ureña (Spa) 8322 PR

(10.66, 23-11½/7.30, 45-10/13.97, 6-8¾/2.05, 48.00 [4310–8], 14.13, 143-4/43.70, 16-¾/4.90, 183-2/55.82, 4:27.82 [4012]);

10. Steven Bastien (US) 8236

(10.69, 24-3/7.39, 47-3/14.40, 6-8¾/2.05, 47.64 [4369–4], 14.42, 133-9/40.77, 15-1/4.60, 190-11/58.21, 4:26.95 [3867]);

11. Johannes Erm (Est) 8213

(11.04, 24-1¾/7.36, 47-10¾/14.60, 6-6¼/1.99, 48.25 [4208–14], 14.55, 150-0/45.72, 15-9/4.80, 191-7/58.41, 4:28.42) [4005];

12. Paweł Wiesiołek (Pol) 8176

(10.83, 23-10¼/7.27, 48-10¾/14.90, 6-7½/2.02, 48.24 [4281–10], 14.95, 158-4/48.27, 15-9/4.80, 169-3/51.60, 4:30.02 [3895]);

13. Vitali Zhuk (Blr) 8131

(11.04, 22-9/6.93, 53-3/16.23, 6-5/1.96, 49.22 [4132–16], 14.95, 154-2/47.01, 16-8¾/5.10, 195-2/59.49, 4:42.57 [3999]);

14. Kai Kazmirek (Ger) 8126

(11.09, 24-6½/7.48, 47-5¼/14.46, 6-7½/2.02, 48.17 [4251–13], 14.73, 140-1/42.70, 15-9/4.80, 209-2/63.76, 4:48.30 [3875]);

15. Maicel Uibo (Est) 8037

(11.32, 24-2¼/7.37, 45-9¼/13.95, 6-7½/2.02, 50.82 [4018–18], 14.83, 152-2/46.38, 18-½/5.50, 166-2/50.64, 4:38.64 [4019]);

16. Adam Sebastian Helcelet (CzR) 8004

(11.06, 23-6/7.16, 49-2¼/14.99, 6-5/1.96, 49.41 [4097–17], 14.35, 148-11/45.40, 15-1/4.60, 201-11/61.54, 4:44.74 [3907]);

17. Jiří Sýkora (CzR) 7943

(11.18, 23-¾/7.03, 48-0/14.63, 6-2¾/1.90, 48.89 [3989–19], 14.48, 163-8/49.90, 15-1/4.60, 209-1/63.73, 4:54.97 [3954]);

18. Felipe dos Santos (Bra) 7880

(10.58, 24-2½/7.38, 46-4¼/14.13, 6-7½/2.02, 49.31 [4266–12], 14.58, 130-11/39.91, 15-1/4.60, 179-0/54.56, 4:52.40 [3614]);

19. Martin Roe (Nor) 7863

(10.86, 23-¾/7.03, 45-10½/13.98, 6-5/1.96, 50.93 [3979–20], 15.47, 158-8/48.37, 15-9/4.80, 204-4/62.28, 4:47.58 [3884]);

20. Karel Tilga (Est) 7018

(11.31, 22-2½/6.77, 50-½/15.25, 6-7½/2.02, 50.48 [3973–21], 16.10, 135-6/41.31, nh, 240-8/73.36, 4:38.24 [3045]);

21. Cedric Dubler (Aus) 7008

(10.89, 24-1¾/7.36, 43-9¾/13.35, 6-8¾/2.05, 49.02 [4184–15], 15.10, 142-1/43.31, nh, 192-0/58.52, 5:03.69 [2824]);

… DNFs—

Niklas Kaul (Ger) 3380

(11.22, 24-1¾/7.36, 47-9/14.55, 6-11/2.11, dnf, dns)

Thomas Van Der Plaetsen (Bel) 850

(11.05, dnf)