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Warner, LePage compete in discus at Canadian championships as preparation for worlds

Damian Warner is a fan of blue tracks.
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Damian Warner is a fan of blue tracks.

The colour, he said, reminds him of the early stages of his career.

“I always enjoy blue tracks,” he said. “My first-ever big competition was at a blue track in 2009. It brings back a little bit of nostalgia.”

The blue track in question is at McLeod Stadium in Langley, B.C., which is hosting the 2023 Canadian Track and Field Championship.

Warner and fellow decathlete Pierce LePage took part in the discus competition at the event on Thursday, placing sixth and third respectively.

Youssef Koudssi, of Montreal, Que., and Jeremiah Nubbe finished with a gold and silver in the competition.

Warner said he’s using this week as a tune-up to the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary in August.

After missing 10 months due to a hamstring injury suffered at the worlds Eugene, Ore., last summer, Warner is determined to continue his return to form, and there are currently no injury concerns.

“We got back on the horse and back training and it’s been really good since then. No inklings of any kind of problems in my hamstrings since then,” he said.

“So I’m looking forward to the world championships right now and hoping to get some solid marks this weekend, and then get back to training in London for two weeks and then head off to training camp.”

Warner finished with a top throw of 48.65 metres on Thursday.

“It’s very similar to what I threw in the Olympics for discus. I feel like I’m at a good spot where I can keep throwing that consistency and I’m very, very close to throwing it further,” he said.

He is also competing in the hurdles and the 400 metres this week.

Decathlon world silver medallist LePage is following a similar plan and will also compete in the long jump.

“I chose discus and long jump as a tune-up,” he said. “Discus as the circle here is pretty fast … long jump, I want to tune-up my approach and change it a little bit this year.”

He finished third with a throw of 52.31 metres.

The Whitby, Ont., native and world No. 1, opened the outdoor season with a big win at the Hypo Meeting in Gotzis, Austria, in May. Warner was second.

“I think I’m just more happy with the fact I’m healthy. I’m training hard, everything’s going well,” LePage said. “After Gotzis, I didn’t have to take time off, I was right back in to things. It’s been a couple years of dealing with injuries so I’m feeling pretty good and I’m happy about it.”

The championships run through Sunday, with Olympians Andre De Grasse, Aaron Brown, Jerome Blake, Bolade Ajomale and Bimark Boateng scheduled to compete in the men’s 100 metres on Friday.

De Grasse, Brown, Blake and Brendon Rodney will get their upgraded Olympic medals Saturday at the Canadian national trials in a medal reallocation ceremony.

The group had initially earned bronze at the Tokyo Games two years ago.

However, an official upgrade came in May 2022 following the disqualification of the British team due to a doping violation by team member CJ Ujah.