Pan Am Roundup: Damian Warner sets new Canadian record in decathlon

TORONTO — Damian Warner set a Canadian record in the decathlon on Thursday, while Canada set a national record for gold medals won at the Pan American Games.

The 25-year-old Warner from London, Ont., won the decathlon in the 13th day of competition at the Pan American Games, in the process breaking Michael Smith's 19-year-old Canadian record.

Warner scored 8,659 points. Smith's mark was 8,626. He needed to run four minutes 29 seconds in the decathlon's final event, the 1,500 metres, to break the record, and ran 4:24.73.

"When I made my decision to come here to compete in front of the home crowd I didn't expect it to be this good," said Warner. "I certainly had a great time and I just want to thank the fans that came out for all their support over the last two days.

"It's been amazing. I'm glad I got to experience this. It will give me a great boost going into Beijing (upcoming World Championships)."

Warner took a healthy lead into the 1,500 — No. 10 of 10 events held over the two-day decathlon, recording personal bests in the 100 metres, long jump and discus.

Earlier, water-skier Whitney McClintock took first place in the women's slalom event — her second top finish of these Games — to give Canada 65 gold medals in total up to that point. The previous record of 64 was set in Winnipeg in 1999.

"This is great, I'm a happy girl," McClintock said. "I've got the two (medals) I came for already. The rest are a bonus."

McClintock, who won gold Wednesday in the overall competition, finished first in the six-skier slalom field to kick off a six-medal Thursday for Canadian water-skiers. Ryan Dodd capped the effort with a gold medal in the men's jump competition on a warm, sunny afternoon on the waterfront.

McClintock, from Cambridge, Ont., later added silver medals in the tricks and jump finals and her brother Jason won silver in the men's slalom.

"Unfortunately I wasn't able to get as warm as I needed to and I just kind of stuck," Jason McClintock said.

After McClintock's gold Canada kept adding medals, to bring its total up to 69 gold, 62 silver and 56 bronze by the end of competition Thursday evening. The United States led the medal count with 83 gold, 69 silver and 71 bronze.

In the men's tricks, Jaret Llewellyn of Innisfail, Alta., won silver with 10,550 points. American Adam Pickos won gold with 11,110.

Later in the day, Canada earned the gold medal in the team equestrian competition at Caledon Pan Am Equestrian Park, located approximately 65 kilometres north of Toronto.

The Canadians finished the two-round competition with seven faults, one less than Argentina. The U.S. earned the bronze with 12 faults.

The Canadian team consisted of Tiffany Foster of North Vancouver, B.C., 2008 Olympic champion Eric Lamaze of Schomberg, Ont., Yann Candele of Caledon, Ont., and Ian Millar of Perth, Ont., who's making his 10th consecutive Pan Am appearance.

Also, the Canadian men's sabre team won a fencing silver medal after dropping a 45-37 decision to the United States in the final.

Shaul Gordon from Richmond, B.C., Toronto's Mark Peros and Montreal's Joseph Polossifakis made up the Canadian squad, which edged Venezuela to reach the gold-medal match.

Lanni Marchant, the Canadian record-holder in the marathon, raced to a bronze medal in the women's 10,000 metres, crossing in 32 minutes 46.03 seconds.

Kate Campbell, from Fredericton, N.B., won silver in women's 55-kilogram karate competition after a loss to Brazil's Valeria Kumizaki.

Vancouver's Jusleen Virk earned bronze in the women's 50-kilogram event. She lost to Chile's Gabriela Bruna in the semifinals. In karate the losers of semifinal matches automatically earn bronze.

Andre De Grasse, meanwhile, finished third in his 200 semifinal — his fifth run of the Pan Am Games. The 20 year old from Markham, Ont., crossed in 20.12 seconds, a night after he won the 100-metre title.

In team sports Thursday night, Canada used a balanced attack to defeat Mexico 96-76 and move within one win of a first ever medal in Pan American Games men's basketball play.

Brady Heslip, who scored the first 10 points of the fourth quarter for Canada, led with 20 points. Orlando Mendez led Mexico with 24 points.

Canada (3-0) came into the game having already secured a semifinal berth and knowing it had won Pool B barring a total collapse against the Mexicans (1-2). Argentina's earlier 80-70 win over the Dominican Republic left both teams at 1-2 and unable to catch Canada in the pool.

Adam Froese had the shootout winner as Canada's men's field hockey team earned a spot at the 2016 Olympics with a 5-4 win over Brazil in the Pan Ams semifinal.

Froese scored the winner in the fifth round of the shootout, beating the Brazilian goalkeeper with a backhand shot.

Canada will now play Argentina in Saturday's gold-medal game. The two teams have met in the men's field hockey gold medal game in 10 straight Pan American games.

The Canadian Press