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The Sport Information Resource Centre

Athletics Canada – It’s one of the most grueling events in sports – one that crowns the winner “World’s Greatest Athlete” On this occasion, the winner also earned the title of World Champion.

Canada is fortunate enough to have two athletes in Damian Warner and Pierce LePage, contending for that title at the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships. It wasn’t easy for the duo, who entered Day 2 of the decathlon sitting in first and second. In a drama-filled day, it was Damian Warner who would find his way onto the podium to claim the bronze medal with a total of 8529 points.

Sitting in fourth place after eight events, Warner climbed his way back with a strong performance in the javelin (62.87-metres, 5th) to add to his win in the 110-metre hurdles with a time of 13.56.

The 23-year-old, LePage held the lead after a big performance in the pole vault event, vaulting past Warner and the reigning World Champion Kevin Mayer, who eventually withdrew from the competition due to injury. A season’s best javelin performance of 57.42 metres and personal-best in the 1500-metre kept him ranked in fifth place, a position where he would conclude his first World Championship experience.

It’s not the colour that Warner wanted but the 29-year-old is ready to look towards next year. “It helps that it’s another medal for Canada, but it is a little bit disappointing,” reflected Warner. “These last six weeks leading up to this decathlon has been a bit rough for many reasons but I’m happy that the season’s over and I can regroup and get ready for the big push next year.”

On his 5th place finish, LePage remains positive about his experience. “It went better than Day 1 so I’m happy about that. Obviously a bit frustrated because of so many things that could’ve gone much better, but it’s my first World Championships, so what can you do. My experience with this decathlon showed a lot about my perseverance and character.”

Gabriela DeBues-Stafford, the Canadian record-holder in the event, took to the track for the 1500-metre semi-final. She got into trouble early on, stuck in the middle of the pack before breaking out with a late kick down the back stretch, cruising into the finish line with a time of 4:01.04.

Now into the World Championship finals for the first time in her career, she is ready and determined to give it her all on Saturday.

“It’s exciting,” said DeBues-Stafford. “I was a bit nervous coming into this, because I know I belong in the final but you never know what can happen. I feel like it’s been a while since we had a Canadian woman in the 1500-metre final so I’m really excited to be that person.”

Tim Nedow got his World Championships underway in the men’s shot put qualification round. Getting started with a throw of 20.51 metres, the Brockville, Ont., native knew he needed better and did so with his third throw of 20.94 metres, auto-qualifying for the men’s final to take place on Saturday.

“It was really my only option because the same throw wasn’t going to cut it,” said Nedow, when asked about his final throw to qualify for the final. “We have such a strong group of guys, it’s so fun. I’m so proud to be part of this historic shot put final. It’s going to be something crazy.”

For Canadian record-holder Brittany Crew, she stepped into the shot put ready to challenge for the podium. She got off to a good start, throwing 18.46-metres before improving her mark to 18.55-metres with her third attempt. She would conclude an outstanding season by placing eighth in the women’s shot put final.

“I tried my absolute best so I can’t be upset or disappointed. It just didn’t happen for me today but it’s okay. I’m super proud of myself,” said Crew. “It’s going to be a big fight in Tokyo. Women’s shot put is getting just as competitive as the men’s shot put and that’s really exciting.”

Next on the schedule, Michael Mason will look to continue his momentum from the qualification round in the men’s high jump final, while Matthew Hughes looks to do the same in the men’s 3000-metre steeplechase final. After breaking the Canadian record in the semi-finals, Sage Watson heads to the women’s 400-metre hurdles looking to clinch a spot on the podium. The men’s and women’s relay teams will be go through the heats for their spot in the final. Closing out the night on the street, Evan Dunfee competes in the men’s 20-kilometre race walk final, looking to add to his bronze medal from the 50-kilometre race walk.