Athletics

Flying Schippers defends 200m title

Dafne Schippers (Getty)
Dafne Schippers (Getty)

London - Dafne Schippers successfully defended her 200 metres world title on Friday in a thrilling final to join greats Allyson Felix and Merlene Ottey in winning the event more than once.

The 25-year-old Dutchwoman, who took bronze in the 100m, timed a season's best 22.05 seconds.

Schippers, whose star had been eclipsed at last year's Olympics by Jamaican Elaine Thompson, said it had been a real fight to retain her crown in an event that didn't feature either Thompson nor America's 100m world champion and Olympic 200m bronze medalist Tori Bowie.

Thompson decided not to compete and Bowie withdrew after injuring herself in the 100m final.

"I fought for that," said Schippers. "I have worked so hard this year so I am so happy. It's so cool. Two times in a row is very special too.

"It was so so cool I was walking around and saw all the orange (on her lap of honour) so it was amazing.

"It was very important to win. I worked so hard in the last years and last year was not the easiest for me.

"I changed everything and got a new coach, so I'm very happy."

Ivory Coast's Marie Josee Ta Lou had to settle for a second sprint silver in a matter of days, timing a national record of 22.08sec, with Bahamas Shaunae Miller-Uibo finishing third in 22.15sec.

Ta Lou, who emulated compatriot Murielle Ahoure in 2013 in collecting double world silver in the sprints, said she was very content with her performance.

"Another silver but I am so happy," said the 28-year-old. "At the camp before these championships I felt a problem in my legs but I didn't want to tell my coach.

"I prayed that I would be ok and I have been. I did all I could in that race. To get a silver medal is more than I could have asked for.

"It has been a special week for me."

Schippers, who took silver in the event in last year's Olympics, stormed off the bend well up on Ta Lou with Britain's Dina Asher-Smith showing well in third in the outside lane.

However, Ta Lou -- diminutive beside the statuesque Schippers -- clawed back the metres between her and the Dutchwoman whilst Bailey-Uibo also made up ground in the final 50 metres.

Schippers, though, just hit the line a tad ahead of Ta Lou with Bailey-Uibo gaining some compensation for missing out on a medal in the 400m -- a dramatic collapse seeing her go from first to fourth in the final 20m -- by edging past Asher-Smith.

Miller-Uibo, whose Estonian husband is competing in the decathlon, said her rivals had brought their 'A game' but the week would not deter her from attempting the double again.

"It's been a great experience for me, with my first attempt at the double," said the 23-year-old.

"It was different but I liked it. I'm definitely going to try it again in 2019."

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