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Canada's Justyn Warner Eliminated In Semifinals In Star-Studded Men's 100 Metres

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JUSTYN WARNER OUT
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LONDON - Canada's Justyn Warner wasn't content to simply be a part of track and field's marquee event at the London Olympics.

And the 24-year-old from Markham, Ont., won't be satisfied until he's in the mix for a medal.

The sprinter continued his breakthrough season by laying down two strong races in London, but it wasn't enough to make the final of star-studded men's 100 metres, won by Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt.

"I admire a bunch of these guys. . . Asafa (Powell), I've looked up to him since I was a little kid," Warner said. "But I can't go in thinking, 'Oh what a great sprinter,' I've got to go in thinking I'm going to beat him."

Lining up in Lane 9 in his semifinal, three lanes over from reigning world champion Yohan Blake of Jamaica, Warner was slow out of the blocks but ran a time of 10.09 seconds to tie his personal best he'd set a day earlier in the heats.

He finished 13th overall.

"I've seen all these guys before. It was exciting the whole experience. I look forward to coming back in Rio (in 2016), and my plan is to get on that podium and I think I'll be more than ready to do that," Warner said.

The sprinter lamented what might have been with a better start.

"I tried to just fight my way through it," Warner said. "I'm trying not to beat myself up about it, take the positives from it, two 10.09s, that's phenomenal. With (a good start), it might have been a 10.0. You don't know. I can say ifs and ands and buts. I'm not making excuses, I just had a bad start and that's it."

Bolt set a new Olympic record of 9.63 seconds, just .05 of a second outside his world mark. Blake took the silver in 9.75 while Justin Gatlin of the U.S. won bronze in 9.79.

Nate Brannen of Cambridge, Ont., went down hard in the semifinals of the men's 1,500 metres in a nasty collision that left him with five long gashes down his calf. The 29-year-old appeared to be making a move to pass with 650 metres to go when he fell. Another runner stepped on his calf leaving the red gashes, about six inches long.

The distraught runner paused for just a few seconds in the mixed zone after the race.

"I got stepped on, and sliced open my leg," said Brannen, who didn't know whose shoe sliced up his leg.

Brannen popped back up and finished the race, but was too far back of the leaders to steal a spot in the final.

Athletics Canada appealed the result based on a ruling that says athletes affected by obstruction or jostling will be placed in the next round. The appeal was denied.

The Olympic Stadium was jam-packed for the third straight day, with 80,000 noisy fans enjoying the competition under blue skies.

Derek Drouin of Corunna, Ont., and Mike Mason of Nanoose Bay, B.C., both advanced to the final of the men's high jump. Drouin cleared 2.29 metres on his last attempt, while Mason jumped 2.26.

"It was stressful. I'm not one to have a lot of misses like that. I usually like to clear on my first try," Drouin said. "I wasn't that nervous coming in here. I'm not sure what was going on. I'm relieved to get through and excited for the final."

Sarah Wells of Toronto advanced to the semifinals of the 400-metre hurdles, finishing fourth in her heat with a time of 56.47.

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