Simon Baker

Athlete Biography

1958 –

Simon Baker was Australia’s top male walker throughout the 1980s and into the early 1990s. He consistently championed the sport of walking. His first Olympic Games were at Los Angeles 1984 where the fields for the walks were deprived of many of the top competitors from the Eastern Bloc nations due to the Soviet-led boycott. He finished 14th in the 20 kilometres walk. His next Olympics, at Seoul 1988, were his best. Competing against all the top walkers, he finished 11th in the 20 kilometres and an excellent sixth in the 50 kilometres. The silver medallist in the latter event was Ron Weigel, from East Germany, who eventually coached walking at the Australian Institute of Sport and for the Australian Olympic team.

Baker went on to walk at Barcelona 1992, where he finished 19th in the 50 kilometres, and at Atlanta 1996, where he fell afoul of the judges and was disqualified in his now specialist 50 kilometres event. Between his Olympic appearances, he competed at three Commonwealth Games, winning the 30 kilometres at Edinburgh 1986.  Whilst competing at four world athletics championships, his best placing was 14th in the 50 kilometres walk at Stuttgart, Germany, Sweden in 1993. He won five titles at the Australian track and field and walking championships.