Tue | Sep 26, 2017

World records are possible - Schippers

Published:Saturday | July 23, 2016 | 7:00 AM
Dutch sprinter Dafne Schippers

LONDON, England:

Dafne Schippers, the biggest threat to Jamaica's female sprinters heading to the Rio Olympics next month, says she is ready to push the envelope in the 100 and 200 metres as she talks about world records and her shape going into the spectacle.

The world champion will be in action today at the Muller Anniversary Games - the London Diamond League, where she will line up in the 200m, but she already has her mind on next month's Olympics - her first as an exclusive sprinter.

Schippers featured at the London Games four years ago in the heptathlon, where she finished 12th. Her switch to the sprints has brought immediate success, with a 200m gold and 100m silver medal at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing.

She has already gone 10.81 in the 100m and is the world leader in the longer sprint, with a time of 21.93.

 

Mental strength

 

Her personal bests of 10.81 and 21.63 are way off the world records for the respective events - Florence Griffith-Joyner's 10.49 and 21.34 holding their spaces in the record books for 28 years now with hardly any sign of going anytime soon.

However, the Dutch star says she is not daunted by the marks and believes they can be broken. She points to her mental strength as a major tool going into her Brazilian battle with the Jamaicans and others.

"I think it's difficult, but I think everything is possible to do, and that's also true for the women's 100m and 200m world records. Where there is a big talent, I think it can be done, and you can go for it. I believe in my talent, however, I don't think about world records too much," Schippers said, "but I think its possible to do that (break).

"I think I am mentally strong because of my experience with the heptathlon. After one day (of multiple events), you are very tired and that's very good to know when you have all the races, but you can still go out and compete. Plus I think all the training over the years for the heptathlon has been good for my body in the sprints.

"Last year, I did the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at the World Championships, so I know I can do that. And it's a totally different world (that) sprinting is from heptathlon," she added, when asked about her increased experience in the events.

Schippers will come up against Americans Jeneba Tarmoh, Shalonda Solomon and Tiffany Townsend as her main rivals today, but she will be assured of her class in the field, being the only athlete here to have gone below 22 seconds so far this season.