Damian Warner competes in The Decathlon, one of the most difficult challenges in all of sport. In the decathlon athletes compete in 10 track and field events spread over two consecutive days. These events are always completed in the same order, with at least an hour between events. To make things even more difficult each decathlete gets only 3 attempts in the throws and jumps, rather than the 6 attempts single event competitors take. Faulting on all 3 attempts in ANY single event means disqualification from the decathlon. Here are the events, with a brief description and how Damian matches up to the current World Record holder in each individual event.

 

DAY ONE DAY TWO
1. 100 Metre dash BANG run as fast as you can!
 (Usain Bolt 9.58 – Damian 10.15)
6. 110 Metre Hurdles A sprint over 10 hurdles 42 inches high
(Aries Merritt 12.80 seconds – Damian 13.27)
2. Long jump Run 30-35 metres and jump into the sand
 (Mike Powell 8.95 m – Damian 8.04 m)
7. Discus Spin 1 and ½ times and launch a 2kg disc
 (Jurgen Schult 74.08 m – Damian 50.26 m)
3. Shot Put Heave a 16 pound metal ball as far as you can
 (Randy Barnes 23.12 m – Damian 14.74 m)
8. Pole Vault Run full speed holding a 16 foot long pole, stab it into the ground and fly over a bar 5 metres high
 (Renaud Lavillenie 6.16 m – Damian 4.85 m)
4. High Jump Jump over a bar until you fail (Javier Sotomayer 2.45 m – Damian 2.09 m)
9. Javelin Run and throw an 800 gram steel spear
 (Jan Zelezny 98.48 m – Damian 64.67 m)
5. 400 Metre Dash One lap of the track at full speed (Michael Johnson 43.18 – Damian 46.54)
10. 1500 Metre Run After 2 whole days of competition run 3 and ¾ laps of the track
 (Hicham El Guerrouj 3:26.00 – Damian 4:24.73)
The chart below shows what result is needed in each event to score 700, 800, 900, and 1,000 points.
The Decathlon is a true “marathon” that requires not only strength, speed, and endurance, but remarkable powers of concentration and the ability to stay focused and ready to compete for 48 hours. For this reason, as much as for their ability to run jump and throw, decathletes are considered some of the greatest athletes in the world. The Decathlon was first introduced as an athletic event at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden. The winner of that first decathlon was a superstar in his own right, American Jim Thorpe. Thorpe was so dominant, winning not only the decathlon but the one day pentathlon as well (another day, another 5 events!), that King Gustav, while awarding Thorpe his gold medal for the Decathlon, said, “Sir, you are the greatest athlete in the world.” Thorpe reportedly replied ”Thanks King!”; and since that day the winner of the Olympic Decathlon has been awarded the title “World’s Greatest Athlete”. The current “World’s Greatest Athlete” is American Ashton Eaton. There have been other Olympic Champions who have not necessarily been the “greatest” athletes, but Ashton is the real deal. At age 26 he holds the World Record in the Decathlon (9039 points, set in 2012) and the indoor version, the 7 event Heptathlon (6645 points, also in 2012) and is the defending World Champion, Indoor World Champion and Olympic Champion! All of that means that Ashton Eaton is the man, but it does not mean he is unbeatable. Ashton took 2014 off from the decathlon and there are plenty of other decathletes trying to fill his shoes. So as “the champ” who does Ashton think will be number one this year? When asked in an interview in late 2013 which of his competitors might have a chance to beat him or break his World Record the first name Eaton mentioned was Damian Warner! But what exactly is involved in winning a decathlon? Where do all these “points” come from? What makes the decathlon so interesting (and at times confusing!) is that points are not awarded for where each decathlete places in an event but rather what his time or distance or height is in that event. The points are calculated based on a set of scoring tables that take into account various factors, including the World Record in each event.

So what constitutes a good score in the Decathlon? The old “standard” for decathletes used to be 8000 points. Anybody who scored over 8000 was deemed to be world class. But in 2011 the International Athletics Federation (IAAF) moved the line and now the “A” standard that decathletes must achieve to get invited to the World Championships and Olympics is 8200 points.

The Personal Best scores Damian has achieved in each of the events.

 10.15

8.04

 14.74

 2.09

46.54

 13.27

 50.26

 4.85

 64.67

 4.24.73

8659

 Edmonton 2015

Santa Barbra, 2015

 London, Ont. 2016

Moskva,  2013

Toronto, 2015

Toronto, 2015

Gotzis 2016

Athens, GA 2016

 London, Ont. 2016

 Gotzis, 2013

Athens, GA 2016

On July 22nd of 2015, at the Pan Am Games in Toronto Damian scored 8659 points to break Michael Smith’s 19 year old Canadian record. He did so in dramatic fashion, running away from the field to win the 1500m in a personal best time to break not only the Canadian record but the Pan Am record as well. Damian’s previous best score ever in a decathlon came in 2013 at the World Championships in Moscow where he scored 8512 points and finished 3rd. Before that it was at the 2012 London Olympics where he scored 8442 points and finished 5th. Damian also won the biggest meet in Europe in 2013 and 2016, the prestigious Hypo-Meeting in Gotzis Austria. Damian competed indoors in 2014 for the first time, finishing 7th in the Heptathlon with a fantastic score of 6129 (second best ever by a Canadian) in his very first attempt. He then went on to win the Gold Medal at The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in the summer of 2014. Damian was also the Pan American games Gold Medalist in 2015. At the games in Toronto he became the Canadian Record Holder in the Decathlon with a score of 8652 points and established a new Pan American Games record.

Damian has competed in a total of 20 decathlons in the past 7 years and has gone over 8000 points 12 times and has won 12 of the 20 events. Damian is a 3 time Canadian Champ, and although he did not compete in the decathlon at the Canadian Championships this year he won the Championship in the 110 m hurdles for the second consecutive year and is ranked in the top 20 in the world in hurdles!

 

 

Best Results by year with Personal Best improvement.

 

2010

1st Ontario Championships 6854

2nd Canadian Championships 7449

 

2011

1st Jim Click Invitational in Tucson 7632

2nd at NACAC Combined Event Challenge in Jamaica 7760

1st Canadian Championships Calgary 8102

18th at World Championships in Korea 7832

 

2012

1st Jim Click Invitational 7977

9th Hypo-Meeting in Gotzis Austria 7961

1st Canadian Championships Calgary 8107

5th Olympic Games London 8442

 

2013

1st Hypo-Meeting Gotzis 8307

1st Canadian Championships Moncton 8145

3rd World Championships Moscow 8512

1st Decastar Talence France 8161

 

2014

2014

7th World Indoor Championships Poland (heptathlon 6129)

1st Commonwealth Games Glasgow, Scotland 8282

 

2015

14th Hypo-Meeting Gotzis 7893 ( 0 points in shot put!)

1st Pan Am Games Toronto 8659 (new Pan Am Record)

New Canadian Record!!

To find more detailed information about Damian’s results and points you can go to www.iaaf.org and search for Damian Warner under “Athletes”.

 

 

Other fun facts:

 

Decathlon and Heptathlon, the woman’s version, are known as “combined events”.

 

In Gotzis Austria thousands of people come out every year to the Hypo-Meeting, the most prestigious combined events meet in the world. They scream and cheer for the decathletes as if they are rock stars or hockey players and all the children in attendance swarm the field at the end of the competition. It is tradition there for kids to try and get every decathlete to sign their shirts.

 

Ashton Eaton (WR holder) is exactly the same height and weight as Damian, they both finished 18th at their first World Championships, they both won a medal at their second Worlds with almost identical scores (8506 for Ashton 8512 for Damian) and both love to play FPS video games late at night!

 

Point wise Damian’s best events are the 100m and the 110m hurdles. His weakest events? Shot put and the 1500m.

The scoring tables for decathlon have changed 5 times since 1912 and the most recent tables, which are used today, were set in 1985.

 

The easiest event to score 1000 points in is the long jump, the hardest is the 1500m.

The 1500m run is the worst average scoring event in the decathlon and it is the only endurance event. Even the 400m is considered a sprint.

 

Damian Warner did not play organized sports until he was 15. He did not start training for decathlon until he was almost 20.

 

Damian only won one OFSAA medal, a bronze in long jump.

 

Damian’s favourite sport is basketball, and yes, he can dunk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

RIO OLYMPICS 2016