Damian Warner has decathlon gold within reach at Decastar

Damian Warner leads the way after the first day of competition at the Decastar in Talence, France.

The Canadian began Saturday by posting the second-fastest time in the 100-metre sprint at 10.52 seconds to pick up 973 points.

Warner then took over the lead and held onto it by earning the top distance of 7.60m in long jump. The 27-year-old then placed sixth in shot put, but rebounded to win the high jump with a mark of 2.02m .

He finished off Day 1 by running the second-fastest time (48.53) in the 400. 

The London, Ont., native has 4369 points, while Ukraine’s Oleksiy Kasyanov sits second with 4210, followed by Kai Kazmirek of Germany at 4157.

Warner is competing for the first time since a fifth-place finish last month at the world championships where he caught a stomach bug that also impacted other members of the Canadian team, including marathon runner Eric Gillis.

At the time, CBC Sports analyst David Moorcroft said that Warner is a force to be reckoned with when healthy. 

“He didn’t look himself [at world championships] and he made a valiant attempt to win a medal, but it wasn’t meant to be.

“He is a class act and a fully fit Damian will still be hard to beat on the world stage,” Moorcroft said.  

Decastar continues on Sunday with the 110m hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin, and 1500.

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