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Dereham’s Chris Baker refuses to leave anything to chance in quest for Commonwealth Games gold

PUBLISHED: 15:34 09 April 2018 | UPDATED: 15:34 09 April 2018

Dereham's Chris Baker during the men's high jump qualifying round at the Carrara Stadium. Picture: PA

Dereham's Chris Baker during the men's high jump qualifying round at the Carrara Stadium. Picture: PA

PA Wire

Four years on from missing a Commonwealth Games medal on countback, Dereham’s Chris Baker will accept nothing less than gold on the Gold Coast.

The 27-year-old jumped 2.25m at Glasgow 2014, the same as Canada’s Michael Mason, but was made to pay for failures at earlier heights and finished fourth.

That time he had qualified first and he did the same at the Carrara Stadium on Monday morning with four clearances – the highest at 2.21m – and no failures.

Not needing to get anywhere near the automatic qualifying mark of 2.27m, Baker is one of 13 men to make Wednesday’s final and this time will settle for nothing less than the win.

“I want to win it. I am here to win it so that is what I am going to try and do,” he said. “Who knows what height might do it though. It is the Commonwealth Games and is a varied event. We have got some big jumpers here but it’s all about what happens on the day. It was one of those nice qualifications with no failures, so I’m pleased with that.

“I haven’t had the easiest of years so I went in nice and early to keep working on the run-up rhythm and just clear the bars at the first attempt. That is what happened thankfully, and that was it makes life much easier.

“You can’t ask for better conditions really, it’s nice and hot. I’m not going to say it’s too hot because it feels really good for your body - so it is kind of perfect.”

Baker qualified alongside Robbie Grabarz, who will be looking to add to his own career medal haul, having won European gold in 2012 and bronze at the London Olympics that same year. Grabarz also won silvers at the 2016 World Indoor and European Championships and another at the 2017 European Indoors. But the British record-holder – who has a personal best clearance of 2.37m – travels on the back of a disappointing World Indoor Championships, where he finished ninth with a best jump of 2.20m.

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