'I just didn't execute': Damian Warner searches for answers after decathlon debacle
Canadian fell out of 1st after failing to clear height in pole vault
Three days after his decathlon debacle at the Commonwealth Games and Canadian Damian Warner still doesn't have any answers.
Warner's bid to defend his title crumbled after failing to clear a height in the pole vault at Carrara Stadium. First after seven events, he plummeted to sixth and — his medal chances shot — pulled out of the competition.
"I've had a couple days to kind of sit back and accept everything for how it played out," Warner said in an interview Friday. "Obviously I was a little bit disappointed in the moment and for a little while after. But sometimes that's how the cards are played and you have to deal with the consequences.
"Now I have to try and figure out what exactly went wrong and try to improve it moving forward so it doesn't happen again."
The 28-year-old from London, Ont., who now makes his home in Calgary, missed three pole vault attempts at 4.50 metres. His personal best is 4.90 metres.
"I was feeling good. I was healthy. There was nothing that should have held me back in the pole vault," Warner said. "I went in there and it didn't go as I wanted. And I think that's why it was so tough — because it was just mistakes on my end, nobody else. My body was good. There was no excuses. I just didn't execute well.
"That's the bitter truth. That's why it so hard to deal with."
Decathlon is an unforgiving sport. Not only do you have to be good at 10 disciplines, but one misstep and your campaign can be over.
"Exactly," said Warner. "The tough thing about our sport is there are so many opportunities to mess up. But I think that's why I like the sport as well, because it forces you to be consistent and it forces you to perform on demand. And when that doesn't happen, you have to deal with the consequences. And unfortunately this time I had to sit back and watch all the other guys finish. It's tough but it just makes me stronger moving forward."
Pole vault downfall
Warner said he planned to review the pole vault Saturday with coach Les Gramantik.
Pierce LePage of Whitby, Ont., ended up winning silver in the decathlon behind Grenada's Lindon Victor.
Warner had been doing well until pole vault.
He started Day 2 with the best time in the 110-metre hurdles, clocking 13.89 seconds. He then placed fourth in the discus with a throw of 46.55 metres.
That left Warner with 6,297 points after seven of 10 events, ahead of Victor (6,074) and LePage (6,009).
Warner opened Day 1 of the competition with his season-best 10.29 in the 100, threw a personal best 15:11 metres in the shot put, recorded 7.54 metres in the long jump and a season-best 2.04 metres in the high jump. He capped off the day by winning his 400 in 48.12 for a total of 4,509 points.
Warner was coming off a second-place heptathlon showing at the world indoor championships in Birmingham, England, losing to France's Kevin Mayer by just five points despite setting a Canadian indoor record of 6,343 points.
Warner, who won bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics, has had his share of challenges. At last year's world championships in London, he finished fifth after being one of several Canadian athletes quarantined due to a nasty stomach bug.
Next up for Warner is the Hypo-Meeting competition in May in Gotzis, Austria,