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English title high jumper's aim

PUBLISHED: 11:44 02 July 2009 | UPDATED: 15:17 07 July 2010

High jumper Chris Baker.

High jumper Chris Baker.

Dereham high jumper Chris Baker set his sights on claiming the English Schools' title after missing out on a place in the GB squad for this summer's European Junior Championships.

Dereham high jumper Chris Baker set his sights on claiming the English Schools' title after missing out on a place in the GB squad for this summer's European Junior Championships.

The 18-year-old, who has just completed his A-levels at Dereham Sixth Form College, had to settle for fifth at the England under-20 Championships and European Trials as Essex athlete Sam Bailey took the title with a clearance of 2.09m.

Baker's hopes of qualifying were slim, with the Dereham ace requiring a personal best of 2.15m to guarantee a place on the plane to Serbia in July.

And while Baker was frustrated not to go beyond 2.01m he was quick to focus his attention on the next major prize on offer - the English Schools' Championships, which take place later this month.

"It didn't go as planned but it was still a respectable performance. I jumped 2.05m

at the Southern Championships so it's disappointing not to go over that again," said Baker.

"The English Schools is the next competition coming up - and that's a major championships - so hopefully I'd like to do well there.

"I'd like to win it but it's going to be difficult if I'm not jumping well. I think I can jump 2.10 or 2.12 though, that would be a new PB.

"A PB will come sooner or later - if not at English Schools then later in the

season. I've had injuries but it's still disappointing.

"I'm still under-20 next year though and the experience is good - I'm just learning my trade."

And while Baker was disappointed not to have run Bailey closer in Bedford, he admitted simply competing against the

best in the country was an important learning curve.

"It was always going to be difficult to qualify, Sam Bailey has already got the standard this year," he added.

Lloyds TSB is providing £1,000 to more than 270 emerging young sportspeople identified each year across Britain, in the run-up to London 2012 and beyond (visit Lloydstsb.com/Localheroes).

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