Chris Baker targets World Championship qualification height
- Credit: PA
He may have been some distance short of challenging for the win at the Sainsbury's Birmingham Grand Prix but Dereham high jumper Chris Baker insists his performances are only going in one direction.
The 23-year-old has enjoyed a meteoric rise in 2014, improving his previous personal best by six centimetres this season – in June he jumped 2.28 metres in Birmingham at a British Athletics Premiership meet – to significantly move up the British rankings.
In Sunday's Diamond League meeting in Birmingham he was up against an all-together different standard of field as Qatar's Essa Mutaz Barshim and Ukranian Bohdan Bondarenko finished first and second respectively after clearing 2.38m.
Baker could only finish back in sixth after producing a best clearance of 2.24m – he failed with all three of his efforts at his PB height of 2.28m but was still pleased with his efforts.
'I'm very happy with my performance and how it has gone,' Baker said. 'I came her to clear my opening height and then to have a consistent mid-20 jumps.
'I then had a few goes at my personal best height – I didn't quite get there but I thought a number of the efforts were close and I jumped well – you can't ask for anymore than that. Last year my PB was 2.22m and so I have to keep telling myself that, I have to keep being consistent in my performances and then I will keep improving.
'I'm consistently jumping higher this year than I ever have done before so I'm very happy indeed.
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'This will be my last competition of the year and now I need to go away and work very hard on a number of technical bits so I can improve.'
Baker admitted it was now very much back to the drawing board as he looks to improve his technique this winter, before returning to the track next season, where he will be targeting the World Championships in Beijing.
To even stand a shot at qualification he must improve his PB to the A standard of 2.31m but Baker is not daunted by the challenge.
'It's going to be tough as qualifying is 2.31m but I don't see why I can't achieve that goal if things keep going as they have,' he added.
Sainsbury's is proud to support British Athletics through the Summer Series events and is committed to helping young people lead healthier, more active lifestyles. For more information visit www.sainsburys.co.uk/legacy