World Indoor 60 metres bronze medallist Ronnie Baker emerged victorious from a hotly-contested 100m on Saturday’s opening day of the London Diamond League after injury struck his US team-mate and rival Christian Coleman.
Baker might have expected to challenge the 9.88 seconds leading time in the world this year he holds with Noah Lyles –- another American pushing for global prominence in the post-Usain Bolt era -– when he won his heat in a blistering 9.90sec at the London Stadium.
Coleman, the world indoor 60m champion, withdrew from his heat because of a hamstring problem, but Baker had to work hard to simply claim victory in the final, clocking 9.90sec again, after losing ground with a sluggish start
Britain’s Zharnel Hughes took second place in 9.93, with South Africa’s Commonwealth champion Akani Simbine third in 9.94
“I definitely felt fast today, running two 9.90s,” said Baker. “Consistency is what it’s about in sprinting, so I’m laying down a marker. Hopefully I can take that world lead and better it.”
Coleman has been struggling to overcome a hamstring problem all summer and, despite returning after a 44-day absence with a 100m victory in Rabat eight days ago, the 22-year-old American suffered a recurrence on the warm-up track before the heats.