Schippers excited by Thompson clash
World 200m champion Dafne Schippers says she is excited about competing against Jamaican Elaine Thompson at today's Prefontaine Classic at the Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.
The sprinter also noted that she has not been bothered by the extra pressure that has come about after her 200m gold and 100m silver-medal performances at last year's World Championships.
"It's OK. I give myself more pressure than the world gives me, so it's not a problem for me at all," she said.
Schippers stopped the clock at 21.63 to lead Thompson (21.66) to the line in the final at last year's IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China, and is looking forward to what will be her third outing against MVP standout in the 200m since they both burst unto the scene in the sprint events last season.
'It's a very nice race. I think the standard is very high with a lot of good athletes in the same race, and I love to race with very fast women. It's good to compete with these girls - girls like Elaine," Schippers told The Gleaner yesterday.
In their second meeting, Schippers clocked 22.12 to win at the Brussels Diamond League, also last year, with the Jamaican finishing third in 22.26.
They renewed their rivalry in the 60m earlier this season with the Dutch star winning twice at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix before taking silver ahead of the bronze medal-winning Jamaican at the World Indoor Championships in Portland, Oregon. Thompson had earlier beaten Schippers at the semi-final stage.
"This type of competition is crucial and important ahead of the Olympic Games. This is important for me," Schippers noted. "I love to run with the best and with very fast girls. Its very nice to compete with Elaine and Tori. It's not the most important race this year but I am looking forward to it."
The athlete has had a really impressive start to the season. She has the two fastest 200m times this year at 22.02 and 22.25, both of which came in negative wind, while her 10.83 in the 100m is only bettered by American Tori Bowie's 10.80, another athlete that she will be facing today.
"I am very happy with my progress. My body feels very good and I am happy with my season so far. I'm looking forward to continue to take the next steps and we will see what happens at the Olympics," she added. "I've worked more on my start and my endurance for the 200m. I've been training a lot on my start this season," said the former heptathlete, who, for the first time in her career, has started her season training exclusively for the sprints.
The women's 200m will face the starter at 4:04 p.m. (Jamaica time).