Ronnie Baker celebrates victory at the Muller Anniversary Games on July 21, 2018 in London.
Ronnie Baker wants to become the fastest man in the world in Tokyo this summer.
On Sunday, he was certainly that at the Diamond League stop in Stockholm, Sweden. Baker, who recently qualified for his first Olympics, won the men’s 100-meter final with a time of 10.03 seconds. He outsprinted Lamont Marcel Jacobs of Italy, who finished in 10.05 in one of the final tests before the Games.
“As an athlete, I think you always expect to run faster,” he told reporters after the race. “I'm pleased with it, though. I'm happy to get out here. It was the first time in three years. I'm pleased to be able to run and compete and beat these guys. As long as I win, then I've had a good day.”
Baker, 27, is capable of running faster.
He set a personal best time of 9.85 seconds at the Olympic Trials, finishing second to Trayvon Bromell with his winning time of 9.80 seconds. With three-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt now retired, those two headline the field of hopefuls looking to become the new title holder in the event.
“There's a lot of guys running fast and some of the top guys are coming out of America, but ultimately, I try not to focus on my competition and focus on what I'm doing and get better each and every race and time I step out on the track,” he said. “You know, in my eyes, I don't really have any competition — the only competition is with myself. As long as I continue to perform well, I know what I'm capable of.”
Isiah Young, a 2012 Olympian, was fourth with a time of 10.13 seconds.
In the men’s pole vault, Sam Kendricks finished second to Sweden’s Armand Duplantis in the latest installment of their rivalry. Duplantis, the hometown favorite, cleared a meet-record 6.02 meters to edge his American counterpart’s season-best 5.92. The reigning bronze medalist will be returning to the Olympics this summer where he and Duplantis are widely expected to battle it out for gold.