Top-two British Athletics Championships finish would guarantee Chris Baker’s place at Rio Olympics
- Credit: British Athletics via Getty Imag
Chris Baker knows he's within touching distance of securing automatic qualification for Rio 2016 this summer.
The Dereham high-jumper has already clinched one part of the criteria required in order to definitely make his Olympics debut later this summer. That was gained when he achieved at least two qualifiying standard clearances of 2.29m between the dates of May 1, 2015 and July 11 this year.
Now to make absolutely certain of his place, the British indoor champion needs to secure a top-two finish at this weekend's British Championships. If he fails to do so during Sunday's high jump final, the 25-year-old's fate lays in the hands of the selection committee.
Baker will be among the best of what Britain has to offer as their athletes descend on Birmingham looking to become British champion during what also serves as GB's trials for the forthcoming Games.
The three-day event, which starts today, will include sprinter James Dasalou. His parents live in Norwich and will be hoping he can progress long beyond this evening's heats. The semi-finals and final will be held tomorrow and the 100m star will be looking to ensure he can make it to the departure lounge.
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Like Baker he knows he has achieved the desired times of 10.16 secs or under and can rubber-stamp his appearance in Brazil by finishing either first or second overall.
While Dasalou and Baker are among the favourites for a GB place in South America regardless of their results across the new few days, Great Yarmouth shot-putter Sophie McKinna will almost certainly need to put in a great showing to stand a chance.
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A massive personal best throw of 18.41m in May put her on the radar but she has since failed to pass the mark of 17.75m. If she did that on Sunday, while coming in the top two, her selection was also be confirmed.
Long jump star Greg Rutherford cannot guarantee his Rio place after pulling out of the event. But as the reigning Olympic, world, European and Commonwealth champion, he is certain of a discretionary spot. British Athletics performance director Neil Black said 'defending the Olympic title' was Rutherford's main focus and he understood why he 'sensibly decided not to take any risks' by competing in the Midlands.