Decathlete Turner turns in personal best as member of Team Canada

Final decathlon of the season for the KSS grad

Kelowna decathlete James Turner closed out his competitive decathlon season by turning in a personal best during his first international competiiton as a member of Team Canada.

Turner placed fifth in the decathlon at the 2011 Pan American Junior Games in Miramar, Florida last weekend, earning his most points ever in the 10 sport event.

“I’m happy with how I did,” said Turner upon returning to Kelowna early this week. “I would have liked to have done better in a couple of events but overall it was pretty good.”

Turner has burst onto the national scene in decathlon this year. As a first year junior, the Kelowna Secondary School graduate scored high enough in the sport to quality for the Pan Am Junior Games. It was the highest level of competition that Turner had seen this year.

“It was amazing,” he said. “The competition was the best I’ve come up against. The winner set the Pan American record and second place would have been a record. The third and fourth place finishers would have been Canadian records.”

Turner said with a couple better results in a few of his 10 events he was right with the top finishers.

“If I was better in two events I would have medalled but you can’t worry about it. I’m happy with how it went,” he said.

Prior to the event Turner flew to Vancouver to meet up with some other members of Team Canada before continuing down to Florida for the meet.

It was the first time Turner had competed as a member of Team Canada as well as the first time he had taken part in an international event.

“The experience was awesome,” he said. “I met a lot of really great athletes and hopefully some I will see down the road. It was amazing to wear the Canadian outfit.”

Turner has one event left in his summer track season before he heads to Texas to start an American collegiate career. He will participate in a couple of individual events at the Western Canada Games in Kamloops in early August but will not sit out the decathlon, having taken part in four already this year.

Then Turner will leave for the University of Texas at Arlington where he will begin training and competing in decathlon on an NCAA scholarship.

“I’m really excited to train down in Texas and get some good coaching,” he said.

Kelowna Capital News

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