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Athletics - 13. August 2014.

100 metre magic at the Letzigrund Stadium European Athletics Championships




Schippers began the season as a heptathlete, and will almost certainly start next season as a heptathlete - but the 22-year-old Dutch athlete is finishing this year as a sprinter, and after winning the European title in 11.12 despite a headwind of 1.7mps, she is halfway to emulating the 100 and 200m double of her illustrious fellow countrywoman Fanny Blankers-Koen at the European Championships of 1950.

Before the Championships began, Schippers sat alongside two of her other 100m sprint rivals, defending champion Ivet Lalova and Germany’s 2010 champion Verena Sailer and announced: “I will go with these girls for a medal. We will see which colour medal it is.”

Now she knows – it’s gold. And tomorrow morning she plans to be back on the same track to start the second part of her European adventure.

“Yes, I will be on the line tomorrow morning,” she said with a grin. “That is the final thing for me. I am feeling good.”

Reflecting on her race, she added: “The first 20 metres were not that good and the last 20 were not very relaxing so I can see some space for improvement.

“But it is great to become the European champion and it is a big honour, although it will take some time for me to realise it.

“The gold medal is very important to my country. You have to take that moment – you cannot choose the weather, or the wind, or the track. I hope that my fans and my country are also very happy just like me.

“Next season I will be back in the heptathlon, starting at Gotzis just like this season.”

But before that, history beckons her in the longer sprint…

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