Let me start out by saying that Götzis is the best track meet in the world and that the people of Götzis and the organizing committee are to be congratulated. Everything you hear about Götzis is true!
How about Damian Warner? Well, it was an okay result but he and I were both disappointed. Damian started suffering from allergies in Götzis and couldn't sleep very well and had no energy at all on day one. He couldn't take any medication because we were not sure what was allowed and he never has allergies at home so we didn't know how it might affect him. Also, bad things seemed to follow him around through the competition!
The only false start on day one was in his 100m race, and his ankle, which he sprained in Arizona in March, tightened up during the long jump. In high jump he spiked himself in warm-up, in hurdles there was the false start by Garcia in the lane beside him that was never called and then the protest by the Germans and the rerun, and in pole vault the Brazilian had a horrific fall and had to be taken out by helicopter and who had to jump next? DAMIAN! But despite all that he fought through, which made me very proud.
On day one Damian felt so sick he passed out after high jump with an ice pack on his head. When he woke up I told him he needed a solid personal best to salvage day one and he did it, with a PB of 48.58 in the 400.
He won the hurdles day two despite the uncalled false start, and after losing his focus in the discus he came back to set a PB of 4.56 in the pole vault. And we told him that he had to chase Ingmar Vos (thank you Ingmar's coach! ) in the 1500 to run 4:30 and he did it, setting a PB by almost 15 seconds!
So Damian's performance at Götzis wasn't what we had hoped because false starts hurt him in the speed events and his throws were weak, but he did set 3 PB's and win 2 events, which made him his first ever prize money; AND he got treated like a rock star by the people of Götzis! Not a bad week for anybody and we'll be back next year for sure.
Gar Leyshon, coach of Damian Warner