Just because he didn’t run in Birmingham doesn’t mean we should forget Diamond League men’s 100 m points leader Ronnie Baker of the U.S.
Already the co-world leader with Noah Lyles at 9.88, he did 1/100th better in winning at the Kamila Skolimowska Memorial in Chorzow (POL) on Wednesday in a world-leading 9.87.
He crushed the field, with American Mike Rodgers second in 10.10 and Turkey’s Olympic 200 m champ Ramil Guliyev third in 10.24. “I felt ready,” Baker said. “This is good motivation before the Diamond League final.”
It’s hard to say if Baker’s 9.87 was the highlight of the meet, or if it was the attendance of 41,200 (!!!), which the IAAF reported was the largest for a meet in Poland since the 1960s!
The meet had numerous stars, including Steven Gardiner (BAH), who won the men’s 400 m in 44.43, and Caster Semenya (RSA), who won the women’s 400 m in 50.06.
Poland had winners everywhere: Marcin Lewandowski won the men’s 800 m in 1:44.99, Piotr Lisek won the vault at 5.85 m (19-2 1/4) and Michal Haratyk threw 21.33 m (69-11 3/4) to defeat New Zealand’s world-leader, Tom Walsh (21.28 m/69-9 3/4).
American Colleen Quigley scored a lifetime best of 4:03.02 to win the women’s 1,500 m in a surprise over Poland’s European silver medalist, Sofia Ennaoui (4:03.28). It moves Quigley to no. 17 on the all-time U.S. list.
Last question: who was Kamila Skolimowska and why did she get a meet named after her? She was the 2000 Olympic hammer throw champion, who died much too soon, at age 26, in 2009 from a heart attack at a Polish training camp in Portugal.