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Schippers ‘focused on Rio’ ahead of Oslo Diamond League meet

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Dafne Schippers (L) of The Netherlands and Jamaica's Elaine Thompson compete at the IAAF World Indoor athletic championships in Portland, Oregon, in March 2016
Dafne Schippers (L) of The Netherlands and Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson compete at the IAAF World Indoor athletic championships in Portland, Oregon, in March 2016

Dafne Schippers took the world championships in Beijing by storm last year when she powered to a stunning victory in the women’s 200m after claiming silver in the 100m.

The 23-year-old’s stunning 21.63 seconds over the 200m was the third fastest ever run, a European record coming just a year after she’d taken the sprint double in the continental championships.

“I think we surprised ourselves in Beijing,” she said of herself and in-form Jamaican rival Elaine Thompson, who claimed silver that day.

“It was a perfect race for us. We’re both young, good sprinters. It’s very special to run these times.”

Speaking ahead of the Diamond League meet in Oslo, her last event before the 2016 European championships on home ground in Amsterdam, Schippers insisted everything was focused on the Rio Olympics and not world records.

“I’m very happy with the races this season,” said the former heptathlete who won bronze in the multi-discipline event in the 2013 Moscow worlds before switching to sprints.

“I don’t miss specific things,” she said of the heptathlon. “I’m more relaxed than when I did heptathlon, it was very hard for head and body.

“But I train the same times as I did then.

“About six months ago I threw a javelin. I had pain in my shoulder and couldn’t sleep for two weeks!”

Turning to the July 6-10 European championships in Amsterdam, Schippers admitted she would not compete in the 200m.

“We don’t have big Olympic trials,” she said of the Dutch team. “I won’t do the 200m, I’ll start the 100 and 4x100m relay in Amsterdam.”

“I like both sprints, but I think the 200m is better because my start is not as good in the 100m.”

As for breaking the 22-second mark at Thursday’s Bislett Games, Schippers said: “I think it’s possible, let’s see about the weather, which determines whether you win fast or just win!”

And as for world records, Schippers insisted they weren’t on the agenda.

“They’re very fast! No, that was a joke. I don’t think about them at this moment,” she said.

“When it’s possible, it’s possible. I’m concentrating on training and in a race, you run the fastest possible.”

The Dutch sprinter clocked 11.09sec as she came in second to the American English Gardner in Birmingham’s 100m on Sunday.

Jamaica’s Thompson has been in top 100m form, timing 10.87sec to beat out Gardner at last week’s Rome meet.

“Everything’s a stepping stone to see where I’m at and then it’s back to the Jamaican trials,” Thompson said.

“It’s always good to have good competitors and Dafne’s a good competitor.”

Source by: AFP

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