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Warners finish one-two in 100 metres at pre-Olympic meet

CTVOlympics.ca

6/30/2012 12:27:48 PM

CALGARY - Justyn and Ian Warner grew up chasing each other up and down the cul-de-sac in front of their Toronto home.

The brothers chased each other to the finish line on Friday in a race they hope will take both of them to the London Olympics.

Older brother Justyn captured gold in the 100 metres to cement his spot on Canada's Olympic team at the track and field trials at Foothills Athletics Park, while Ian claimed silver to make a strong argument for his inclusion on the squad as well.

The 25-year-old Justyn raced to a career-best 10.15 seconds, dipping under the Olympic A standard of 10.18, while Ian crossed in a personal best 10.20.

"Warner Bros. Production, that's what they call us. Too bad it's copywrited," Justyn said laughing.

"But that's what we do, that's we have fun with."It couldn't be better, it couldn't come at a better time for the two of us to be going to London. I just can't wait."

The 22-year-old Ian is a strong candidate for Canada's 4x100-metre relay team. Canada's track and field squad will be announced Sunday morning.

"It was just a giant blur, all I remember was getting to the line, I could see my brother and no-one else was in front of me," Ian said. "I was happy the two Warners got one and two, that's obviously a dream come true to be able to go to the Olympics with my brother.

"Words can't even express how cool that is, to be able to say you're going to your first Olympics with your brother."

Oluseyi Smith of Ottawa won the bronze with 10.22.

Earlier in the day, Phylicia George of Markham, Ont., won the women's 100 in 11.30, clinching her spot on the Canadian team.

George could also make the squad in the 100-metre hurdles, which is slated for Saturday afternoon.

Hilary Stellingwerff of Sarnia, Ont., and Nicole Sifuentes of Winnipeg secured their London spots in the women's 1,500 metres, while Nate Brannen cemented his spot in the men's 1,500.

Liz Gleadle clinched her berth in the women's javelin.

The Warners grew up focused mainly on football — both were running backs. Justyn was recruited to Texas Christian University for football but quickly switched to track. Ian eventually switched to track as well, and runs for Iowa State University.

"My little bro, I know he's coming for me," Justyn said laughing. "He feeds off of me and I feed off of him, and he looks up to me and I look up to him, we're close brothers. He's got a lot of talent, he hasn't beaten me yet but I know he's gunning for me, and one day it will come.

"I'll be happy for him, I'm happy for him every race he runs."

Ian couldn't have envisioned a day, he said, until this season when he would be racing right on his older brother's heels — "he's always been so much faster than me."

Friday he was perfectly fine to take second place."Because there's nobody I would rather lose to than my brother, I'm completely happy with the way everything went down," he said.

"I'm gonna get him one day. But it's not today, and I'm fine with that.

One day. Not this day.

"If he is named to the relay squad for London, Ian hopes he and Justyn can be roommates in the athletes village.

"Definitely. He's the person I trust the most. It's the coolest thing," Ian said.

Mom Debbie Warner squeezed into the jam-packed grandstand at Foothills Athletics Park to watch her boys run — Ian was in Lane 3, Justyn in 6.

"This is the first time I've ever watched the two of them race each other when I actually saw them both. Usually I focus on one or the other and the race finishes and I think, what happened with the other one," Debbie said. "I don't get nervous until they're in the blocks.

"And I knew they could do it, I just knew."

Justyn will be the one on edge Saturday when his fiance Nikkita Holder attempts to claim a spot on the Olympic squad in the 100-metre hurdles. But it won't be easy in a jam-packed field in which six women have the qualifying standard, including Olympic bronze medallist Priscilla Lopes-Schliep.

"I'm more nervous for that race than I was for my own. I'll be out here nervous as heck, shaking," Justyn said.

"We don't talk about it, we just kind of leave it, don't even mention it, and when the time comes, it comes."