On Day 3 of athletics at the Pan American Games, Damian Warner and Pierce LePage continued their podium pursuit in the men’s decathlon. Coming into the day sitting atop the leader board, Warner positioned himself to repeat as the Pan American Games Champion, while rising star LePage looked to capitalize by gaining sought after points in the last five events.
The Canadian decathlon duo didn’t disappoint, running a strong 1,500-metre race to close out as 2019 Pan American Games medallists – gold for Warner, bronze for LePage. The leader after Day 1 of the decathlon, Warner did not relinquish his lead throughout Day 2, bringing in a total of 8,513 points over the two-day competition.
Warner would win his 110-metre hurdles heat in a time of 13.68 seconds, followed by a season’s best performance of 48.82 metres in the discus, while adding a throw of 59.48 metres in the javelin.
Entering the day in second place behind his countrymen, LePage came out flying as well, clocking 14.15 seconds in the 110-metre hurdles, following it up with a strong performance by winning the pole vault with a clearance of 5.10 metres.
Looking back on the competition, the two-time Pan American Games gold medallist saw the importance of these Games and how it will prepare him moving forward. “It was a hard-fought battle, but a win is a win,” said Warner. “My experience from 2015 in Toronto was one of the best experiences of my life, and obviously I wanted to come down here and repeat. I think this is a great stepping stone towards the World Championships and Olympic Games.”
“I had a lot of good events and some not so good, but it’s a learning experience and this is definitely something that I will take away as I prepare for Worlds,” added LePage.
In the women’s 800-metre final Lindsey Butterworth took to the track, narrowly edged off the podium finishing in fifth place with a time of 2:02.58. Although it was not what she wanted, she is determined to learn from this experience and will take what she learned into her next competition. “The good thing with racing is that there’s always things to learn,” said Butterworth. “I’m definitely going to think about this one later and have some takeaways, but I know I can be better in the last 150 metres. I’m disappointed, but I know there’s a lot more there and my time will come.”
On the straightaway, Crystal Emmanuel improved on her performance from the semifinals of 11.48 seconds by running 11.41 seconds in today’s 100-metre final, placing seventh overall.
In semifinal action, Kyra Constantine qualified for the women’s 400-metre final with a time of 52.92 seconds. Constantine is ranked seventh heading into tomorrow’s race.
On the field, reigning Pan American Games silver medallist Tim Nedow put on a great performance from beginning to end. Sitting in second going into the final round of throws, Nedow would finish just off the podium in fourth place with a best throw of 20.48 metres. “It was a crazy last round, I really wish I could have responded. I thought I threw a bit further, it’s unfortunate that I came a bit short,” said Nedow. “At these Championships I wanted to either medal or have a good throw. I didn’t do either so Worlds is still my big goal. I’m feeling healthy and I will keep training while I’m down here. I’m going to have to throw further than that at the World Championships.”
Crystal Emmanuel, looking to rebound in the 200-metre semifinals, will be joined by Aiyanna Stiverne on the track Thursday afternoon, while Brendon Rodney and Jerome Blake begin their podium pursuit on the men’s side in the 200-metres. Canadian record holder Alysha Newman and Kelsie Ahbe will take to the field in the women’s pole vault. Will Paulson will make his Pan American Games debut in the men’s 1,500-metre final, while Sage Watson returns to the track looking for a spot on the podium in the women’s 400-metre hurdles.