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Pan Am Games: Canada sets new national record with 65th gold medal

Decathlon champion Damian Warner of Canada wears a national flag following his win in the men's decathlon 1500 meter run at the Pan Am Games Thursday, July 23, 2015, in Toronto. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

TORONTO – Damian Warner set a Canadian record in the decathlon on Thursday, while Canada set a national record for gold medals won at the Pan American Games.

The 25-year-old Warner from London, Ont., won the decathlon in the 13th day of competition at the Pan American Games, in the process breaking Michael Smith’s 19-year-old Canadian record.

Warner scored 8,659 points. Smith’s mark was 8,626.

Ian Millar, of Canada, competes in the equestrian team jumping during the Pan American Games in Caledon, Ont., on Thursday, July 23, 2015. Canada won gold. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Damian Warner of Canada in the 110m hurdles in the men's decathlon during the athletics at the Pan Am Games in Toronto, Thursday July 23, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch
Canadian Equestrian team pictured left to right, Yann Candele, Tiffany Foster, Eric Lamaze and Ian Millar show off their gold medals after winning the team jumping during the Pan American Games in Caledon, Ont., on Thursday, July 23, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denett
Eric Lamaze of Canada competes in the equestrian team jumping during the Pan American Games in Caledon, Ont., on Thursday, July 23, 2015. Canada won gold. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Andre De Grasse of Canada waves to fans after he wins the gold medal in the men's 100m final during the athletics competition at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto on Wednesday, July 22, 2015. Hudson's Bay is reporting strong sales for red mitts, Canada T-shirts amd jackets during the Pan Am Games. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
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Canada’s Jason McClintock competes in men's slalom water-ski at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto on Thursday, July 23, 2015. Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press
Canada's Whitney McClintock skis during the slalom portion of the women's overall water ski competition at the Pan Am Games in Toronto Wednesday, July 22, 2015. AP Photo/Gregory Bull
Canada’s Andre De Grasse holds a flag after winning gold in the men's 100m final at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto on Wednesday, July 22, 2015. Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

He needed to run four minutes 29 seconds in the decathlon’s final event, the 1,500 metres, to break the record, and ran 4:24.73.

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READ MORE: Damian Warner sets Canadian record in decathlon; wins Pan Am gold

Warner took a healthy lead into the 1,500 – No. 10 of 10 events held over the two-day decathlon, recording personal bests in the 100 metres, long jump and discus.

Earlier, water-skier Whitney McClintock took first place in the women’s slalom event – her second top finish of these Games – to give Canada 65 gold medals in total up to that point. The previous record of 64 was set in Winnipeg in 1999.

Canada’s Whitney McClintock rides her way to a gold medal in women’s slalom water-skiing at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto on Thursday, July 23, 2015. Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press

“This is great, I’m a happy girl,” McClintock said. “I’ve got the two (medals) I came for already. The rest are a bonus.”

McClintock, who won gold Wednesday in the overall competition, finished first in the six-skier slalom field to kick off a six-medal Thursday for Canadian water-skiers. Ryan Dodd capped the effort with a gold medal in the men’s jump competition on a warm, sunny afternoon on the waterfront.

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McClintock, from Cambridge, Ont., later added silver medals in the tricks and jump finals and her brother Jason won silver in the men’s slalom.

READ MORE: Canadian team earns equestrian gold medal at Pan Am Games

“Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get as warm as I needed to and I just kind of stuck,” Jason McClintock said.

After McClintock’s gold Canada kept adding medals, including more golds.

In the men’s tricks, Jaret Llewellyn of Innisfail, Alta., won silver with 10,550 points. American Adam Pickos won gold with 11,110.

The Canadian Pan Am team had 69 gold, 61 silver and 55 bronze Thursday evening. The United States led the medal count with 83 gold, 69 silver and 71 bronze.

Later in the day, Canada earned the gold medal in the team equestrian competition at Caledon Pan Am Equestrian Park, located approximately 65 kilometres north of Toronto.

The Canadians finished the two-round competition with seven faults, one less than Argentina. The U.S. earned the bronze with 12 faults.

READ MORE: Pan Am Games: Sprint phenom De Grasse wins 100, caps solid day for Canada at track

The Canadian team consisted of Tiffany Foster of North Vancouver, B.C., 2008 Olympic champion Eric Lamaze of Schomberg, Ont., Yann Candele of Caledon, Ont., and Ian Millar of Perth, Ont., who’s making his 10th consecutive Pan Am appearance.

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Also, the Canadian men’s sabre team won a fencing silver medal after dropping a 45-37 decision to the United States in the final.

Eric Lamaze of Canada competes in the equestrian team jumping during the Pan American Games in Caledon, Ont., on Thursday, July 23, 2015. Canada won gold. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Shaul Gordon from Richmond, B.C., Toronto’s Mark Peros and Montreal’s Joseph Polossifakis made up the Canadian squad, which edged Venezuela to reach the gold-medal match.

Lanni Marchant, the Canadian record-holder in the marathon, raced to a bronze medal in the women’s 10,000 metres, crossing in 32 minutes 46.03 seconds.

Andre De Grasse, meanwhile, finished third in his 200 semifinal – his fifth run of the Pan Am Games. The 20 year old from Markham, Ont., crossed in 20.12 seconds, a night after he won the 100-metre title.

Later Thursday, Canada had possible medal chances in women’s pole vault and men’s discus throw.

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In team sports Thursday night, Canada used a balanced attack to defeat Mexico 96-76 and move within one win of a first ever medal in Pan American Games men’s basketball play.

Brady Heslip, who scored the first 10 points of the fourth quarter for Canada, led with 20 points. Orlando Mendez led Mexico with 24 points.

Canada (3-0) came into the game having already secured a semifinal berth and knowing it had won Pool B barring a total collapse against the Mexicans (1-2). Argentina’s earlier 80-70 win over the Dominican Republic left both teams at 1-2 and unable to catch Canada in the pool.

Adam Froese had the shootout winner as Canada’s men’s field hockey team earned a spot at the 2016 Olympics with a 5-4 win over Brazil in the Pan Ams semifinal.

Froese scored the winner in the fifth round of the shootout, beating the Brazilian goalkeeper with a backhand shot.

Canada will now play Argentina in Saturday’s gold-medal game. The two teams have met in the men’s field hockey gold medal game in 10 straight Pan American games.

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