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Disappointment for Chris Baker, while Iona Lake reflects on learning experience

PUBLISHED: 16:19 11 April 2018

Chris Baker in action during the men's high jump final at the Carrara Stadium. Picture: PA

Chris Baker in action during the men's high jump final at the Carrara Stadium. Picture: PA

PA Wire

Dereham’s Chris Baker could not hold back the tears after his dreams of a Commonwealth high jump medal came crashing down in the Carrara Stadium.

Iona Lake during the 3,000m steeplechase final at the Carrara Stadium. Picture: PAIona Lake during the 3,000m steeplechase final at the Carrara Stadium. Picture: PA

Having qualified for the final in relatively comfortable fashion, Baker – who finished fourth in Glasgow four years ago – could only manage clearances at 2.18m and 2.21m.

His three subsequent failures at 2.24m – way down on his personal best outdoors of 2.29m – meant he ended up ninth overall as gold went to home favourite Brandon Starc.

And Baker, who changed coaches to Graham Ravenscroft this winter, could not hide his emotions after a disappointing showing.

“It is an amazing atmosphere out there, but it just didn’t happen for me today,” said the Norfolk star. “I got a new coach this winter and stuff is coming into place but it just didn’t happen here. I have got to trust the process; physically I am there and technically I am there, I am just not allowing myself to do what I am capable of.

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“Today is a big occasion, and when you put it (the change of technique) under pressure, I just didn’t live up to it.”

Also in the Carrara Stadium, Iona Lake finished eighth in the 3,000m steeplechase, in a time of 9:58.92.

The race was won by Jamaica’s Aisha Praught with Kenyan duo Celliphine Chespol and Purity Kirui taking silver and bronze respectively.

And the Norwich runner, in her maiden Commonwealths, has vowed to learn from the experience of competing against some of the world’s best.

“It was a funny race – first very slow, then suddenly very quick, basically very stop-start,” said the 25-year-old. “I would have liked a quicker time, but never mind. It was an interesting race. I prefer a race that is evenly split. When they picked up the pace, I really felt it and my fitness just wasn’t there to go with it.

“I know there is quicker racing within me, but of course the perfect race doesn’t always come at a Championships.

“Everything is new really – it’s my first major Games. Just coming out with the team a few weeks before and experiencing the whole environment. I’ve really learnt a lot from it.”

Meanwhile, Jamie Chestney from King’s Lynn and the rest of the men’s four were handed their first defeat in the Lawn Bowls.

Chestney, who plays as third, joined up with Louis Ridout, David Bolt and Sam Tolchard to take on Scotland on Wednesday.

But their old rivals downed them 12-8 at the Broadbeach club to move top of Pool D while England slip to second with two wins and a defeat from their three matches.

npower is the Official Partner of Team England and is giving our athletes the power of support by recording a brand new version of their anthem, Jerusalem. To listen to the track visit npower.com/teamengland

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