Canada’s Pierce LePage won his first world decathlon gold medal in Budapest on August 26, denying his teammate and Olympic champion Damian Warner the only title missing from his impressive resume. LePage, who won silver at last year’s worlds, took the lead in the 110 meters hurdles, the first event of the day, and maintained his position to finish with 8,909 points. Warner, who has previously won silver and bronze at the world championships, finished with 8,804 points, while Lindon Victor of Grenada took the bronze with 8,756 points.
LePage expressed his satisfaction with his victory and praised Warner, saying, “I have done so many decathlons with Damian. We are always supporting each other. It is nice to share this podium with him.” Warner, despite not achieving his desired gold, congratulated LePage and expressed his pride in his own performance. He stated, “Pierce was better and I’m very happy for him. But I’m very proud of myself, too. I wanted to get the gold, but it makes it a little bit better to have another Canadian winning it. Pierce is a great guy and it will be great to stand on the podium with him and our ‘honorary Canadian,’ Lindon Victor.”
The world record holder, Kevin Mayer of France, withdrew from the competition due to an Achilles injury. LePage showcased his potential from the beginning, achieving a personal-best time in the hurdles and maintaining his lead with strong performances in the discus and pole vault. Despite facing some challenges, including a shoulder injury during the long jump and cramps during the high jump, LePage persevered and secured the gold medal.
Warner made a comeback in the javelin event, finishing ahead of LePage, but it wasn’t enough to close the gap. LePage had a comfortable lead of 184 points heading into the final event, the 1,500 meters. Although Warner finished ahead of LePage in the race, the gold medal was already secured by LePage’s overall performance.
Warner reflected on his silver medal, stating, “This silver motivates me a lot. Decathlon has its ups and downs, and it feels great to finish with more than 8,800 points. This result puts me in a good position for next year.” The competition showcased the talent and camaraderie between LePage and Warner, highlighting their mutual support and respect.
In conclusion, Pierce LePage’s victory in the world decathlon championship marked a significant milestone in his career, while Damian Warner’s silver medal added to his impressive achievements. Both athletes demonstrated their resilience and sportsmanship throughout the competition.
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