Ronnie Baker is the second best global indoor sprinter of 2020. His season, short and sweet, is being covered by Stuart Weir in this column.
Ronnie Baker’s 2020 European tour could be summed up in Julius Caesar’s famous words: “I came, I saw, I conquered*.” Three races, three wins.
In Glasgow he ran a 6.55 prelim and a 6.50 final, in Lieven 6.49/6.44 and Madrid 6.50/6.44. Add to that a win in the Millrose Games, New York in 6.54. In that form, it must be a frustration that there is no World Indoors this year. He comments: “Yes, I felt like I would have done really well there. I was just gearing up for that. There were a lot of winter weeks when we missed training so these races would have been great to get myself tuned up, go home, do more sprinting and get ready for the championship. But, hey, you have to roll with the punches”. He took bronze in the 2018 World Indoors.
I saw the races in Glasgow and Lieven, each one faster than the previous one, but Ronnie was not satisfied: “Yes it’s a good time but it’s not the world lead! I’m always trying to be the best. When I’m second, it hurts me. That’s just the fighter in me. It’s getting to the point where I am feeling really good and then something happens and the execution doesn’t fall into place for me. I felt good running but I wanted it to be perfect. It’s hard to come out and compete and do it perfect every time. Overall, I got the win and I have to be happy with that. I’m blessed that I was able to do that”.
He explained what he could have done better: “I felt that in the beginning I could have been more aggressive, the first 30 meters could have been more aggressive. From there I thought my transition and everything was great. Just being more aggressive in the first 30 would be the main thing”.
His series of races – slowest 6:55 to fastest 6:44 (twice) – showed an impressive consistency. He agreed that it was satisfying: “I have [been consistent]. I can sit here and rag myself all day but at the end of the day God has blessed me with an incredible talent, just being able to glorify him and worship him in that really is a blessing. Everything I have is a blessing from him. Being able to run 6.4 and do it fairly easily is definitely something to praise God about”.
It will be exciting to see what Baker can produce outdoors in an Olympic summer.
*In Latin: veni, vidi, vici.