Canada’s Pierce LePage leads the men’s decathlon with just two events remaining at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest.
Fellow Canadian Damian Warner is in third spot with the javelin and 1,500-metre events still to come on Saturday.
LePage, who won silver at last year’s worlds, set a personal best time of 13.77 seconds in the 110-metre hurdles and posted a distance of 50.98 in the discus, finishing second overall in both events.
The 27-year-old from Whitby, Ont., registered a clear of 5.20m in the pole vault – matching a season’s best – to keep the overall lead with 7,477 points.
Warner, the 33-year-old from London, Ont, was the only competitor faster than LePage in the hurdles, posting a time of 13.67 before a seventh-place finish in discus (45.82). The reigning Olympic champion’s 4.90m pole vault mark has him 217 points behind his teammate in the overall standings.
Germany’s Leo Neugebauer is in second place, 195 points behind LePage, and just 22 points up on Warner.
Warner was leading the decathlon through five events at the 2022 world championships before pulling up with a hamstring injury while running in the inside lane of the 400 metres.
Action from Budapest resumes at 12:55 p.m. ET with LePage and Warner still to compete in the javelin and 1,500m events.
Sarah Mitton, of Brooklyn, N.S., advanced to the women’s shot put final on Saturday with a throw of 19.37m in the qualifier.
The Canadian only needed the one attempt to reach the qualifying mark, and managed the third-best result, behind the Netherlands Jessica Schilder (19.64) and American Maggie Ewen (19.43).
WATCH | Mitton qualifies for shot put final:
Sarah Mitton isn’t messing around 💪<br><br>On her first throw she automatically qualifies for the final with a distance of 19.37m in Shot Put 🇨🇦💥<br><br>Avec son premier lancer elle se qualifie automatiquement pour la finale avec une distance de 19,37m au lancer du poids 🇨🇦💥 <a href=”https://t.co/YaDTPo64Rc”>pic.twitter.com/YaDTPo64Rc</a>
Ethiopia dominates women’s marathon
Amane Beriso Shankule led a 1-2 finish by Ethiopia in the women’s marathon on a warm Saturday morning.
Shankule powered through the city streets of Budapest to finish in a time of two hours, 24 minutes, 23 seconds to edge defending champion and teammate Gotytom Gebreslase. Fatima Ezzahra Gardadi of Morocco took bronze.
The 31-year-old Shankule said the Ethiopian team worked together to make it difficult on the rest of the runners to keep up.
“After we got rid of the rest, then it was a battle with my tough teammates,” Shankule said. “Gebreslase is a strong athlete and she wanted to defend her title.”
Canadian national record holder Natasha Wodak, of Surrey, B.C., finished 15th overall with a season-best time of 2:30:09.
Natasha Wodak places top 15 🙌<br><br>Wodak finished strong with a Season’s Best time of 2:30:09 in the Marathon placing 15th 🇨🇦😮💨<br><br>📸: @notafraid2fail/IG<a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Budapest2023?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Budapest2023</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/WorldAthleticsChamps?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#WorldAthleticsChamps</a> <a href=”https://t.co/g7obR6qUNH”>pic.twitter.com/g7obR6qUNH</a>
Of the 77 runners who started, 65 finished in a race that began with temperatures at 23 C and soared to 29 C by the end. There were heat warnings in effect for later in the day when it’s expected to climb to around 35 C.
“I know it is very hot but for me it was not so difficult,” Shankule said. “I wish we had started a bit earlier so we could have run a faster time.”
Shankule steadily began to pull away from her Ethiopian teammates late in the race and only occasionally looked back over her shoulder to see if anyone was catching up.
No one was.
She raised her arms as she crossed the finish line inside Heroes’ Square. Gebreslase finished 11 seconds behind. The top American finisher was Lindsay Flanagan in ninth.
“The main goal was to bring home the gold. I am proud we [Ethiopians] are keeping the title,” Gebreslase said.
Gebreslase set a world-championship record (2:18:11) in the cooler conditions of Eugene, Oregon, last summer.
“It was very cold in Oregon, and it is very hot in Budapest,” Gebreslase said. “But we knew the conditions are going to be tough.”
The heat and the blistering pace wore down many runners, including sixth-place finisher Rosemary Wanjiru of Kenya.
“It was just too hot for me,” Wanjiru said.
The marathon kicked off the second-to-last day at worlds. In the night session, Noah Lyles, fresh off winning the 200m, could be back on the track to anchor the United States in the 4×100 relay.
Faith Kipyegon of Kenya will look to add a 5,000m title to the 1,500 crown she won earlier in the championships. In addition, Swedish pole vaulter Mondo Duplantis is set to defend his title.
WATCH | Should Andre De Grasse have run in the 4x100m heats?
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