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'World's greatest athlete': Olympic champion Damian Warner to compete at Burnaby track event

The Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome Track Classic on June 14 will feature "the world's greatest athlete."
Olympic gold medalist Damian Warner has been confirmed as a participant at the 2022 Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome Track Classic on June 14 at Swanguard Stadium.

"The world's greatest athlete" is set to participate at the Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome Track Classic in Burnaby this summer. 

Damian Warner, who earned the unofficial title after claiming decathlon gold for Canada at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, is tapped to compete at Swanguard Stadium on June 14. 

The 32-year-old from London, Ont., set an Olympic record and became the fourth man to break the 9,000-point mark in decathlon — a challenge consisting of 10 track-and-field disciplines. 

"I’m thrilled that fans will be able to welcome Damian back to the Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome Track Classic," Harry Jerome meet director Nigel Hole said in a news release. 

"It gives us a chance to show our appreciation for all he’s done to uplift us, and propel him into the next chapter of his journey: the World Championships in Eugene."

Warner matched his world best time in the 100-metre (10.12 seconds), and followed up by breaking a 24-year-old Olympic decathlon record in the long jump at 8.24 metres. 

He would finish the first day with a season-best time in 400 metres. 

At the start of day two, Warner recorded an Olympic decathlon best time in the 100-metre hurdles at 13.46 seconds.

He went on to match his personal best in the pole vault and set a season-best in javelin. 

As a result of his victory, Warner was chosen to be Canada's flag-bearer at the closing ceremonies in Tokyo.

The 2020 Harry Jerome Track Classic was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and modified in 2021 where just 71 athletes competed and no spectators were allowed inside the stadium. 

Last year, one Canadian record was set and one Olympic standard was reached, while four meet records and 27 personal bests were tallied.

This year's event will be part of Athletics Canada's National Track and Field Tour which includes 10-high performance meets scheduled for the outdoor season. 

As the event is bronze classified on the World Athletics Continental Tour, the Burnaby meet will allow athletes to collect world ranking points. 

"We can’t wait to reunite the west coast track and field community," Hole added. 

"The Harry Jerome has long held a special place in the hearts of athletes, coaches, officials, alumni and fans alike. It’s no secret that Canadians cherish the opportunity to compete in front of a supportive home crowd."

Organizers say more commitments from Canadian and international athletes will be released closer to the event. 

Other B.C. events in June include the Victoria Track Classic on June 16, the Kamloops Throws Festival on June 18 and the Canadian Track and Field Championships from June 22 to 26 in Langley.