Nike Talks World Indoors 2018: Week 1, Day 3, Dafne Schippers aims for Birmingham 60 meters

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This is the third day of the Nike Talks World Indoors Series. Thanks to Nike Sports Marketing, @runblogrun will provide a Monday-Friday story on a key athlete from US, Great Britain, Europe, Africa and Asia. On the weekends, we will go back in World Indoor history and provide a favorite moment. This sponsorship goes from January1-March 5. We hope you enjoy. And please check out www.nikerunning.com. Remember to support our sponsors. They are supporting the heart of running.

Today, we are writing about European sprint champion Dafne Schippers!

And always remember to check out www.wicbirmingham2018.com

Schippers_DaphneSF1-WC17.jpgDafne Schippers, World Champs 2017, photo by PhotoRun.net

How do you describe Dafne Schippers?

One of the finest sprinters on the planet? One of the finest athletes on the planet? An athlete with a huge capacity for racing, and who actually likes to be challenged?

Well, those are good starts!

I have been fortunate to observe Dafne close up for the past half decade. Watching her compete as a heptathlete, I figured that she would move swiftly to the very top of the multi events. For Dafne, there were injuries that continued.

But, during all of that training, it became amazingly obvious that this women had some sprint skills. She could run the 100 meters and 200 meters and love the relays.

Schippers_Dafne200R-Euros14.jpgDafne Schippers, 2014 European Champs, photo by PhotoRun.net

Watching her in 2014 at the European Champs, I was impressed with her 100 meter and 200 meter golds. Dafne is a fine 100 meter sprinter, but this woman flies around the turn, and her finish is scary!

Schippers_DafneFL-EuroInd15.jpgDafne Schippers, 2015 European Indoors, Praha, photo by PhotoRun.net

2015 was her true coming out party. I observed her in Praha win the European Indoor 60 meters. Then came the World Championships in Beijing. Dafne took second in the 100 meters in 10.81, a NR, and her racing was sublime! Schippers surprised me, I figured 10.85, but 10.81, amazing. But the real story was her 200 meters, as she battled Elaine Thompson and Torie Bowie, Schippers came off the turn behind and ran down Elaine Thompson, in a perfectly timed finish, with a time of 21.63, in an NR, CR and ER!

Schippers_Dafne200FHL1a-Worlds15.jpgDafne Schippers completing her fine 200 meters in WC 2015, photo by PhotoRun.net

2016 was the reminder that there are many fine sprinters in the world. In Portland 2016, Dafne took the silver medal in the 60 meters, and looked very good!

Dafne won the 100 meters in 10.90 at the European Champs and her 4x100m relay team won and set NR in 42.04. This was a nice preparation for Rio!

Rio was a different story. Dafne Schippers, to this observer, was just not all there. She was, perhaps, five percent off her best form. And that showed. In the 100 meters, Dafne Schippers took fifth in Elaine Thompson's coming out party, running 10.90. In her specialty, the 200 meters, Dafne Schippers took silver in 21.88 to Elaine Thompson.

Schippers_Dafne200Dive-OlyGames16.jpgDafne Schippers battles for Rio, photo by PhotoRun.net

Dafne was not a happy camper. She threw her shoes after the 100 meters. It was nothing terrible, but it was not seen warmly by her country people. Dafne is one of the finest athletes in the world, and she did not fulfill what she herself had wanted. She had the right to be unhappy.

So, after Rio, she made some changes. She moved her training to Rana Reider, American track coach who has over seen Christian Taylor, Sharah Proctor, Desiree Henry and Tianna Bartoletta.

Rana Reider is one of the finest coaches this writer knows. Like Loren Seagrave, Dan Pfaff, Lance Brauman, among others, Rana can disect a physical action down to its basics, and then, rebuild the action to make the athlete a better athlete. Making athletes more efficient, making them stronger and helping them race better, that is what fine coaches do. Rana Reider is helping Daphne Schippers become a better athlete.

Schippers_DafneFV-Lausanne17.jpgDafne Schippers, Lausanne Athletissima, photo by PhotoRun.net

2017 was a different year. All during the year, Dafne Schippers showed signs of a return to her highest levels of fitness. I watched her race all during the season and watched her improve. Lausanne was truly impressive, as she battled back to the level she knew she had inside her.

Schippers_DaphneSF1-WC17.jpgDafne Schippers, World Champs, London 2017, photo by PhotoRun.net

At the Worlds in London, Dafne Schippers took third in the 100 meters, in 10.96, battling the entire way, in a race where Tori Bowie won and Elaine Thompson did not medal. In the 200 meters, while the time was 22.05, Dafne Schippers was the best in the world that night, taking the 200 meters and telling us afterwards: " I like racing the 100 meters, 200 meters and relays. It is fun!" She said it with a smile and the relief of a fine athlete who had come back from a tough year.

Schippers_DafnePC-Lausanne17.jpgDafne Schippers, Lausanne, photo by PhotoRun.net

How will she do in Birmingham? Well, Dafne Schippers does not come to play. She comes to race. One the fiercest sprinters I have ever seen, Dafne will be in the battle for the medals in Birmingham in March 2018!

Dafne is off to her first training camp of 2018. She will race a few indoor races, and then, we will see her in Birmingham, ready to race!

Do not miss it!

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