Damian Warner 2nd after 4 heptathlon events at indoor track and field worlds
Canadian sets PBs in shot put, high jump, matches PB in 60m to open 2-day event
Damian Warner attained two personal bests and tied another to open the two-day men's heptathlon competition at the world indoor track and field championships on Friday in Birmingham, U.K.
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The London, Ont., native cleared a personal-best 2.02 metres on his second attempt in high jump during the afternoon session at Arena Birmingham in hopes of overtaking reigning world decathlon champion Kevin Mayer of France for the overall lead.
Warner missed all three of his tries at 2:05 and sits second with 3,491 points entering the final three events — 60-metre hurdles, pole vault and the 1,000 — on Saturday. Mayer (3,536) also missed his three attempts at 2.05.
Estonia's Maicel Uibo was the only athlete in the 10-man field to clear 2.17 as he earned 963 points in high jump to leap over Germany's Kai Kazmirek into third place with 3,436.
Warner, 28, began Friday with a season-best 6.74-second clocking to win his 60 heat and match his PB from the Athletics Ontario youth senior championships on Feb. 21, 2010.
He followed with a leap of 7.39 metres in the long jump before finishing the morning session with a PB of 14.90m in shot put. His previous best was 13.86, set at indoor worlds four years ago in Sopot, Poland.
Warner carried 2,669 points into the high jump, 45 behind the 26-year-old Mayer (2,714) who earned his first major international gold medal last March, shattering a 13-year record with 6,479 points to win the European indoor heptathlon title. Mayer won decathlon silver six months earlier at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Kazmirek sat third through the morning session with 2,572 points. Last month, he no-heighted at 2.00m in the high jump, meaning he didn't clear any bar during the competition, at the German Indoor Championships. He rebounded on Friday with a best jump of 2.05.
On Saturday, Warner could still threaten or break Michael Smith's 25-year-old Canadian heptathlon mark of 6,279 points after scoring a PB 6,129 at the 2014 worlds.
Olympic decathlon bronze
Warner has competed sparingly this year indoors after a stomach flu hampered his chances to medal at last summer's world championships in London, England, where Warner placed fifth in decathlon. In September, he won gold at the season-ending Decastar decathlon in France.
At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Warner became the first Canadian since 1988 to capture a bronze medal in the event and nine months later captured a third career Hypo Meeting title, finishing 104 points shy of his own Canadian outdoor record (8.695).
Crew places 10th in shot put
Brittany Crew arrived in Birmingham looking to break her Canadian shot put record for a second time this season, but the 23-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., fell well short.
Crew's best throw Friday measured 17.61 metres, good for 10th among the 15 women's competitors. On Feb. 10, she threw a personal-best 18.20 for a silver medal at the Grand Prix d'Athletisme in Montreal. With an outdoor PB of 18.58, Crew will turn her attention to representing Canada at the Commonwealth Games in April at Australia and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Emmanuel ousted in 60m semifinals
Toronto sprinter Crystal Emmanuel fell short of her season best achieved in the morning heat and didn't race in the women's 60-metre final later Friday. She stopped the clock in 7.27 seconds, 1-100th of a second slower than her performance earlier in the day.
Emmanuel, 26, went 7.28 at the Grand Prix d'Athletisme in Montreal on Feb. 10 and ran 7.30 earlier this month at an Athletics Ontario indoor series meet in Toronto.
She appeared at full health Friday after a season of interrupted training by various injuries. At the end of last year's outdoor season, during which Emmanuel obliterated the 34-year-old national 200 record, repeated as Canadian champion in the 100 and 200 and placed seventh at worlds, she suffered a right hamstring injury that caused an imbalance with her right glutes, quadriceps muscles and hip.
Last month, right quad tightness forced Emmanuel to withdraw from the 60 at the 53rd Knights of Columbus Indoor Games in Saskatoon after she clocked 6.30 to win the 50.
Stafford, Van Buskirk record PBs in 1,500 heats
Canada's Gabriela Stafford and Kate Van Buskirk each ran a personal best in their respective 1,500 heats but it wasn't enough to secure a spot in Saturday afternoon's final.
Stafford, 22, was fifth in her heat in a time of four minutes 9.94 seconds. The 2016 Olympian's previous PB was 4:11.46, set at the indoor worlds two years ago in Portland, Ore., where Stafford placed 12th. The University of Toronto psychology major arrived in Birmingham with a season best of 4:15.70 recorded on Feb. 3 at the prestigious Millrose Games in New York City.
Last summer, Stafford reached the 1,500 semifinals at the world championships in London, England, to place 21st.
Van Buskirk, 30, crossed the line Friday in 4:09.42, her first national team appearance in more than three years after a bronze medal performance at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Shortly thereafter, a pulled hamstring and several other injuries plagued the native of Brampton, Ont., until 2017.
In the past month, Van Buskirk has broken the Canadian indoor mile record (4:26.92) and become the second-fastest Canadian 3,000 runner of all-time.
Whyte matches SB in 60 hurdles
Edmonton's Angela Whyte, 37, tied her season best in the 60-metre hurdles but failed to qualifying for Saturday's semifinals after clocking 8.21 seconds. She also ran 8.21 on Feb. 16 in winning the event at the University of Michigan's Silverston Invitational in Ann Arbor, Mich.
The fourth fastest Canadian of all time in the 60 hurdles (7.96), Jones has set indoor personal bests this season in the 60, 200, 800 and high jump. The three-time Olympian in the 100 hurdles didn't advance to the semifinals at last year's world championships, placing 30th.
La Canadienne Angela Whyte (<a href="https://twitter.com/AngelaWhyteCan?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AngelaWhyteCan</a> ) inscrit son meilleur chrono de la saison et termine 6e sur 7 de la 4e vague du 60 m haies<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Birmingham2018?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Birmingham2018</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Athl%C3%A9tisme?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Athlétisme</a> <a href="https://t.co/aHrmr2jHLV">pic.twitter.com/aHrmr2jHLV</a>—@RC_Sports
Jones, Balkwill bow out in women's 400 heats
Canadians Travia Jones of Regina and Kelsey Balkwill of Essex, Ont., made their indoor worlds debut in the women's 400 but failed to qualify for Friday afternoon's semifinals.
The 22-year-old Jones, who competed at last summer's worlds, finished fourth in her heat in 53.51 seconds, less than one second off her personal best of 52.57, set at the Fastrack National Invite on Feb. 9 in Staten Island, N.Y.
Balkwill, 25, also crossed the line fourth in her heat in 53.29. She has set four indoor PBs in 2018 in the 400 (52.64), 60 (7.59), 200 (24.01) and 600 (1:30.62).
Entire men's field DQ'd in 400m heat
All five runners in a 400-metre heat were disqualified from their race Friday.
Abdalelah Haroun, a Qatari who won bronze at last year's world championships, was first to leave after a false start.
Bralon Taplin of Grenada, who ran the fastest time this year, then finished first in the heat but officials later disqualified him and Steven Gayle of Jamaica, Austris Karpinskis of Austria and Alonzo Russell of the Bahamas for running out of their lanes.
The IAAF says it's the first time in history that every runner in a world championship race has been disqualified.
With files from The Associated Press