London News & Search
LONDON, ENGLAND — Londoner Damian Warner’s hopes of a medal in the decathlon at the world track and field championships were dashed as he fought through a recent illness to a fifth-place finish.
Warner, a world silver and bronze medallist, competed a few days after being quarantined with the stomach bug going around the Canadian team’s hotel.
The native of London, Ont., was fourth after the first five events on Friday, and moved into third Saturday morning by winning the 110-metre hurdles in 13.63.
That was as high as he would climb. He dropped to fifth after the discus and remained there through the final three events — the pole vault, javelin and 1,500 metres — to finish with 8,309 points.
Kevin Mayer of France won gold with 8,768, while Germany’s Rico Freimuth is second with 8,564, and Kai Kazmirek of Germany third with 8,488.
Warner won bronze at the 2013 world championships and silver two years ago in Beijing behind American superstar Ashton Eaton. After dominating the decathlon for several years, Eaton announced his retirement in January, vacating the top spot on the podium, and Warner had a decent shot of claiming it in London.
Warner fell ill after Tuesday’s practice with the stomach bug, believed to be norovirus, that has swept through the hotel where the Canadians are staying. He spent 48 hours in quarantine and had just one light practice on Thursday afternoon before competition began Friday.
It’s the first time Warner has missed a major international podium since he was fifth at the 2012 Olympics in the same London stadium, winning both the Commonwealth and Pan American Games decathlon titles as well.
Elsewhere, Mohammed Ahmed, 26, from St. Catharines, Ont., finished sixth in the men’s 5,000 metres in 13 minutes 35.43 seconds. He was fourth in the 5,000 at the Rio Olympics.
Ahmed, who was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, but spent much of his childhood in Kenya before moving to Canada raced to eighth — a Canadian-best in the distance — in the 10,000 metres last week.
Ethiopia’s Muktar Edris won the 5,000 in 13:32.79, while British great Mo Farrah, in his final world championship race, settled for silver in 13:33.22.
Justyn Knight, 21, of Toronto, finished ninth in 13:39.15.
Despite missing star Andre De Grasse, Canada’s men’s 4×100 relay team advanced to tonight’s final. The team of Gavin Smellie, Aaron Brown, Brendon Rodney, and Mobolade Ajomale ran 38.48 seconds this morning to grab the eighth and final qualifying spot.
The Americans had the fastest time of the day of 37.70, ahead of Britain and Jamaica.
London News & Search