At the Sam Adams Decathlon/Heptathlon a few weekends ago, I was lucky enough watch and chat with Damian Warner. Below is the video of his 110H race against Ashton Eaton in which they ended in a dead heat, both running 13.64 into a slight headwind (sorry about the focus…it gets better at the end). More impressive was his stadium record 10.34 (1.2w) 100m performance on day one, running absolutely alone (2nd place was Gray Horn at 10.91). He also PR’d in the 400m with a 47.63 (trailing behind Ashton’s stadium and personal record setting run of 45.64).
Both of those marks are impressive, but what really surprised me about Damian’s success is that he’s only been doing the decathlon for about 3 years. Which means that he was only doing the decathlon for 2 years when he scored 8442 for 5th at the Olympics. Moreover, he still only 23 years old, so he has maybe 4 years of improvements coming (assuming the best with health and coaching).
Looking at his PRs on wikipedia (not updated with the Sam Adam’s meet, yet), it’s clear to this armchair coach that he’s got plenty of improvements left in the LJ, PV and 400m. With 10.34 speed, his long jump should be closer to 8m/26-3 (he’s current PR is 7.54/24-9), his PV should be conservatively 5.20/17-1 (currently at 4.80/15-9) and his 400m should be low 46s (let’s say 46.20). Adding those improvements to his London score would give him a fantasy score of 8800, which would have been the silver only 69 points from Ashton. Modest improvements in the other 7 events could put him over 9000. The next few years could be interesting.