Dafne Schippers duly delivered the home 100m victory that had been so fervently anticipated, leaving the mood on a high in the Olympic stadium after the earlier disqualification of fellow Dutch sprinter Churandy Martina after he appeared to have added the men’s 200m title to the 100m gold he had won the previous night.
Schippers got away well and began to pull clear of the field by the 30 metres mark, maintaining her form to the line before crossing in 10.90 despite the cold and blustery conditions. It was the 12thfastest time of the year, and not much short of her 2016 best of 10.83.
But before starting on her lap of honour to acknowledge that applause Schippers, with the Dutch flag draped over her shoulders, made her way back to the 70m point of the track where Britain’s Desiree Henry, who had qualified second fastest behind her in 11.09, was being attended by medics as she lay stricken on the track having come to a sudden, staggering halt during the race.
“I felt very sorry because she is my training mate,” said the Dutch golden girl, who works with the same coach as the 20-year-old former world youth champion.
Ivet Lalova-Collio, the 2012 European champion, took silver in 11.20 with bronze going to Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji in 11.25.
Schippers’ margin of victory was the greatest seen in a European women’s 100m final since fellow countrywoman Fanny Blankers-Koen won at the 1950 Championships in Brussels