(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Decathlon: LePage edges reigning champion Warner to claim gold at the Hypo Meeting

Pierce LePage beat fellow Canadian Damian Warner to claim the decathlon gold at the Hypo Meeting in Götzis, Austria on Sunday.

LePage scored a combined 8,700 points in the 10 events, just 81 points ahead of Warner who placed second. Warner was looking for a 7th consecutive title at this event and an 8th overall in his career. The two Canadians were accompanied by Norwegian, Sander Skotheim who completed the podium (8,590).

The Whitby, Ont. native, showed impressive consistency and talent throughout the competition allowing him to capture the victory. He particularly stood out in the 100m race posting the best time, 10.28 seconds. He finished seventh or better in every event except the very last 1500m event. Yet, it did not matter due to his pre-existing lead.

LePage completed the event just a single point behind his personal best.

Warner got off to a great start on Sunday as he held pole position after Saturday’s match day with 4,531 points, 18 points ahead of his Canadian rival. However he fell behind after a 20th position in the pole vault at the beginning of the day leaving him more than 150 points from the lead. Despite a strong performance the 1500m, it was not enough to conquer LePage.

Olympic gold medallist Warner, made return this season to competition ten months after suffering a hamstring injury in the 400m event at the last World Championships in Athletics.

On the women’s side, Canadian Georgia Ellenwood finished 17th in the heptathlon.

It was the first competition of the season as part of the World Athletics Combined Events Tour Gold. LePage and Warner will continue their rivalry later this summer at the world championships in Budapest, Hungary running Aug.19-27.