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Dafne Schippers

Dafne SchippersDafne Schippers, born on the 15th of June,1992 in Utrecht, the Netherlands is a Dutch track and field athlete.

She is primarily a sprinter, having previously participated in the heptathlon. She is the 2015 and 2017 World Champion and won silver at the 2016 Summer Olympics in the 200 metres.

Schippers holds the European record in the 200 metres with a time of 21.63 s and is the third-fastest woman of all time at this distance. She is co-record holder in the 4 × 100 metre relay.

She started competing in athletics at the age of nine at the track and field club Hellas in Utrecht. She originally competed in the heptathlon and won gold medals at the 2010 World Junior Championships in Athletics and 2011 European Athletics Junior Championships.

At the 2010 World Junior Championships she also won a bronze in the 4 × 100 meters relay with her team mates Loreanne Kuhurima, Eva Lubbers and Jamile Samuel.

In 2011 at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, she broke the Dutch national record in the 200 metre in the heats in 22.69, before finishing 9th in the semifinals, missing the final by 0.04 seconds.

Dafne SchippersThe 4 × 100 meter relay team consisting of Kadene Vassell, Schippers, Anouk Hagen and Samuel, were eliminated in the heats in a national record of 43.44.

In 2012, she was invited to participate at the prestigious heptathlon Hypo-Meeting in Götzis (Austria), where she finished 5th. She also competed at the 2012 European Athletics Championships in Helsinki, Finland. She finished 5th at the 200 meters.

The race was disappointing after she had won her heat in 23.01 and recorded the fastest semi-final time of 22.70. The Dutch 4x100 meters relay team of Kadene Vassell, Schippers, Eva Lubbers and Samuel, were second in 42.80, a national record, behind the German team.

A year later, she started with a third place at the Hypo-Meeting, with 6287 points. Next, she won gold in the 100 metres and bronze in the long jump at the 2013 European Athletics U23 Championships.

At the subsequent 2013 World Championships in Moscow, Schippers won the bronze medal in the heptathlon, collapsing over the line after taking a massive seven seconds off her personal best in the 800 metres to see off Briton Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Germany's Claudia Rath for the bronze.

She became the first Dutch woman to win a medal in the hepthatlon at the World Athletics Championships.

She improved the 200 metre record during the heptathlon at the 2014 Hypo-Meeting in Götzis, her time of 22.35 being one of the best 200 metre performances ever in a heptathlon. She finished third at the hepthatlon with 6545 points, a new national record.

Dafne SchippersAt the European championships of 2014 Schippers won gold medals in the 100 metres and the 200 metres. The 4x100 meters relay team, one of the favourites for the title, did not finish in the final due to a botched first baton change.

Her success at the 2014 European Athletics Championships prompted discussion over her long-term prospects and whether she should focus on sprinting, or continue her career in the heptathlon.

In June 2015 Schippers announced via Twitter that she would focus on sprinting in the run-up to the 2015 World Championships in Athletics in Beijing, China and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The 2015 season had started well with a win in the 60 metres at the 2015 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Prague, Czech Republic.

At the 2015 World Championships in Beijing Schippers won the silver medal in the 100 metres and gold in the 200 metres, just before Elaine Thompson.

Her 200 metre winning time of 21.63 seconds was a new European record and made her the third fastest woman in history over that distance.

The Dutch 4 × 100 metres relay team, comprised of Nadine Visser, Schippers, Naomi Sedney and Samuel, finished fifth in 42.32, but was disqualified for a changeover infringement. In the heats the team had also run 42.32, a new national record.

Dafne SchippersThe next year, she won the 100 metres at the 2016 European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam in 10.90, by 3 tenths of a second.

The Dutch team led by Schippers, with Samuel, Tessa van Schagen and anchor runner Naomi Sedney won the 4x100 meters relay with a national record of 42.04.

At the 2016 Summer Olympics expectation was high that she would add an Olympic title to the gold medal at the 2015 World Championships, following in the footsteps of Fanny Blankers-Koen who had dominated the sprint events at the 1948 Summer Olympic Games, winning four golds.

However, she finished fifth in the 100 metre final, and won the silver medal in the 200 metres behind Elaine Thompson who became the first woman for 28 years to complete the Olympic sprint double.

After defeat in the 200 metres, Schippers remained forlorn on the side of the track for a while, took off her spikes and hurled them to one side in frustration.

"I came here for gold", she told reporters, disappointment showing in her face. "I'm not happy with the silver."

The Dutch relay team was eliminated in the heats due to a botched relay handover between Samuel and Schippers.

After the disappointment of Rio, Schippers decided to change. She parted with Bart Bennema as her coach, who had overseen her transition from a outstanding heptathlete, winning bronze in the IAAF World Championships Moscow 2013, into a successful 100 metre and 200 metre sprinter.

Dafne SchippersBoth felt that she had to try a different approach to progress, and so she decided join U.S. coach and sprint guru Rana Reider and focus on the 2017 World Championships in Athletics in London, to defend her world title in the 200 metres.

After winning the bronze in the 100 metres, she won the 200 metres title, joining Jamaican Merlene Ottey and USA’s Allyson Felix as the only athletes to successfully defend a world title in the event.

“It’s a great feeling to be world champion for the second time,” she said. “I was a bit nervous beforehand, but I’m a final runner, and bring my best in finals, so I’m very grateful for the experience today."

"There were so many Dutch fans in the stadium, all wearing orange. To win this two times in a row is brilliant." The Dutch 4 × 100 m relay team of Madiea Ghafoor, Schippers, Sedney, Samuel finished in 8th place321.

For the 2018 season, the focus for the "Flying Dutchwoman of the sprints" was on the 2018 European Athletics Championships at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, Germany.

However, it was British sprinter Dina Asher-Smith who became the star of the sprint in Berlin, winning gold on both the 100 metre and 200 metre, as well as the 4x100 metres relay.

Dafne SchippersSchippers won a bronze on the 100 metre and a silver on the 200 metre.

The 4 x 100 metre relay team with Schippers, Marije van Hunenstijn, Samuel and Sedney also finished second.

Due to the disappointing results, the collaboration between Schippers and Reider came under scrutiny.

Although Reider did prepare her for her special second world title at 200 metre and bronze at 100 metre at the 2017 World Championships, many other races looked rigid and she had lost her most important weapon, the 'acceleration' in the end.

Due to increased power training she became more muscular, but on the track this did not lead to improvements. She could not improve her 2015 top chrono's.

Reider suddenly left the National Sports Centre Papendal in the Netherlands in November 2018, and Schippers returned to her first coach, Bart Bennema.

Nevertheless, the 2019 season was not successful. She did win a silver at the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships in the 60 metre race.

But at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Schippers had to withdraw before the final of the 100 metre with an adductor problem. She subsequently withdrew from the 200 metre and the 4 x100 metre relays.

Dafne Schippers

The Dafne Schippersbrug [Dafne Schippers Bridge] in Utrecht, where Schippers grew up, was named in her honour and opened in April 2017.

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