Dafne Schippers (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈdɑfnə ˈsxɪpərs]; born 15 June 1992) is a Dutch track and field athlete. She competes primarily in the sprints, having previously participated in the heptathlon. She is the 2015 and 2017 World Champion and won silver at the 2016 Summer Olympics in the 200 metres.
Schippers holds the European record in the 200 m with a time of 21.63 s and is the 6th-fastest woman of all time at this distance. She holds the national record in the 100 m and is co-record holder in the 4 × 100 m relay.
Schippers originally competed in the heptathlon and won gold medals at the 2010 World Junior Championships in Athletics and 2011 European Athletics Junior Championships. At the 2010 World Junior Championships she also won a bronze in the 4 × 100 meters relay with her team mates Loreanne Kuhurima, Eva Lubbers and Jamile Samuel.
In 2011 at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, she broke the Dutch national record in the 200 m in the heats in 22.69, before finishing 9th in the semifinals, missing the final by 0.04 seconds. The 4 × 100 meter relay team (Kadene Vassell, Schippers, Anouk Hagen and Samuel) were eliminated in the heats in a national record of 43.44.
In 2012, she was invited to participate at the prestigious heptathlon Hypo-Meeting in Götzis (Austria), where she finished 5th. She also competed at the 2012 European Athletics Championships in Helsinki (Finland). She finished 5th at the 200 meters. The race was disappointing after She had won her heat in 23.01 and recorded the fastest semi-final time of 22.70. The Dutch 4x100 meters relay team (Kadene Vassell, Schippers, Eva Lubbers and Samuel), were second in 42.80, a national record, behind the German team.
A year later, she started with a third place at the Hypo-Meeting, with 6287 points. Next, she won gold in the 100 m and bronze in the long jump at the 2013 European Athletics U23 Championships. At the subsequent 2013 World Championships in Moscow, Schippers won the bronze medal in the heptathlon, collapsing over the line after taking a massive seven seconds off her personal best in the 800 metres to see off Briton Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Germany's Claudia Rath for the bronze. She became the first Dutch woman to win a medal in the hepthatlon at the World Athletics Championships.
She improved the 200 m record during the heptathlon at the 2014 Hypo-Meeting in Götzis, her time of 22.35 being one of the best 200 m performances ever in a heptathlon. She finished third at the hepthatlon with 6545 points, a new national record. At the European championships of 2014 Schippers won gold medals in the 100 m and the 200 m. The 4x100 meters relay team, one of the favourites for the title, did not finish in the final due to a botched first baton change.
Shifting to sprinting
Her success at the 2014 European Athletics Championships prompted discussion over her long-term prospects and whether she should focus on sprinting, or continue her career in the heptathlon. In June 2015 Schippers announced via Twitter that she would focus on sprinting in the run-up to the 2015 World Championships in Athletics in Beijing (China) and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).
The 2015 season had started well with a win in the 60 m at the 2015 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Prague, (Czech Republic). At the 2015 World Championships in Beijing Schippers won the silver medal in the 100 m and gold in the 200 m, just before Elaine Thompson. Her 200 m winning time of 21.63 seconds was a new European record and made her the third fastest woman in history over that distance. The Dutch 4 × 100 meters relay team (Nadine Visser, Schippers, Naomi Sedney and Samuel) finished fifth in 42.32, but was disqualified for a changeover infringement. In the heats the team had also run 42.32, a new national record. Her stunning victory opened her up to scrutiny about possible doping. There were questions about the acne on Schippers back and face, which can be a sign of steroid abuse. Most insiders, however, dismissed those claims, pointing out that the acne was hereditary in the family and the fast track in Beijing.
Next year, she won the 100 m at the 2016 European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam in 10.90, by 3 tenths of a second. The Dutch team led by Schippers, with Samuel, Tessa van Schagen and anchor runner Naomi Sedney won the 4x100 meters relay with a national record of 42.04.
At the 2016 Summer Olympics expectation was high that she would add an Olympic title to the gold medal at the 2015 World Championships, following in the footsteps of Fanny Blankers-Koen who had dominated the sprint events at the 1948 Summer Olympic Games, winning four golds. However, she finished fifth in the 100 m final, and won the silver medal in the 200 m behind Elaine Thompson who became the first woman for 28 years to complete the Olympic sprint double. After defeat in the 200 m, Schippers remained forlorn on the side of the track for a while, took off her spikes and hurled them to one side in frustration. "I came here for gold", she told reporters, disappointment showing in her face. "I'm not happy with the silver." The Dutch relay team was eliminated in the heats due to a botched relay handover between Samuel and Schippers.
Change of coaches
After the disappointment of Rio, Schippers decided to change. She parted with Bart Bennema as her coach, who had overseen her transition from an outstanding heptathlete, winning bronze in the IAAF World Championships Moscow 2013, into a successful 100m and 200m sprinter. Both felt that she had to try a different approach to progress, and so she decided join U.S. coach and sprint guru Rana Reider and focus on the 2017 World Championships in Athletics in London, to defend her world title in the 200m. After winning the bronze in the 100m, she won the 200 m title, joining Jamaican Merlene Ottey and USA’s Allyson Felix as the only athletes to successfully defend a world title in the event. “It’s a great feeling to be world champion for the second time,” she said. “I was a bit nervous beforehand, but I’m a final runner, and bring my best in finals, so I’m very grateful for the experience today. There were so many Dutch fans in the stadium, all wearing orange. To win this two times in a row is brilliant." The Dutch 4 × 100 m relay team (Madiea Ghafoor, Schippers, Sedney, Samuel) finished 8th.
For the 2018 season, the focus for the "Flying Dutchwoman of the sprints" was on the 2018 European Athletics Championships at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, Germany. However, it was British sprinter Dina Asher-Smith who became the star of the sprint in Berlin, winning gold on both the 100m and 200 m, as well as the 4x100 m relay. Schippers won a bronze on the 100 m and a silver on the 200 m. The 4 x 100 m relay team with Schippers, Marije van Hunenstijn, Samuel and Sedney also finished second.
Due to the disappointing results, the collaboration between Schippers and Reider came under scrutiny. Although Reider did prepare her for her special second world title at 200 m and bronze at 100 m at the 2017 World Championships, many other races looked rigid and she had lost her most important weapon, the 'acceleration' in the end. Due to increased power training she became more muscular, but on the track this did not lead to improvements. She could not improve her 2015 top chrono's. Reider suddenly left the National Sports Centre Papendal in the Netherlands in November 2018, and Schippers returned to her first coach, Bart Bennema.
Nevertheless, the 2019 season was not successful. She did win a silver at the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships in the 60 m race. But at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Schippers had to withdraw before the final of the 100 m with an adductor problem. She subsequently withdrew from the 200 m and the 4 x100 m relay.
The Dafne Schippersbrug (Dafne Schippers Bridge) in Utrecht, where Schippers grew up, was opened in April 2017, and named in her honour.
|Representing the Netherlands|
|2009||European Junior Championships||Novi Sad, Serbia||4th||Heptathlon||5507 pts|
|2010||World Junior Championships||Moncton, Canada||3rd||4 × 100 m relay||44.09 (NJR)|
|1st||Heptathlon||5967 pts (NJR)|
|2011||European Indoor Championships||Paris, France||11th (sf)||60 m||7.30|
|European Junior Championships||Tallinn, Estonia||1st||Heptathlon||6153 pts|
|World Championships||Daegu, South Korea||9th (sf)||200 m||22.92|
|9th (h)||4 × 100 m relay||43.44 (NR)|
|2012||World Indoor Championships||Istanbul, Turkey||10th (sf)||60 m||7.25|
|European Championships||Helsinki, Finland||5th||200 m||23.53|
|2nd||4 × 100 m relay||42.80 (NR)|
|Olympic Games||London, United Kingdom||6th||4 × 100 m relay||42.70|
|2013||European Indoor Championships||Gothenburg, Sweden||4th||60 m||7.14|
|European U23 Championships||Tampere, Finland||1st||100 m||11.13 (wind: -0.7 m/s)|
|4th||4 × 100 m relay||44.18|
|3rd||Long jump||6.59 m (wind: +1.6 m/s)|
|World Championships||Moscow, Russia||3rd||Heptathlon||6477 pts (NR)|
|2014||World Indoor Championships||Sopot, Poland||10th (sf)||60 m||7.18|
|European Championships||Zürich, Switzerland||1st||100 m||11.12|
|1st||200 m||22.03 (NR)|
|3rd (h)||4 × 100 m relay||42.77|
|2015||European Indoor Championships||Prague, Czech Republic||1st||60 m||7.05|
|World Championships||Beijing, China||2nd||100 m||10.81 (NR)|
|1st||200 m||21.63 (NR), (CR), (ER)|
|—||4 × 100 m relay||DQ|
|2016||World Indoor Championships||Portland, United States||2nd||60 m||7.04|
|European Championships||Amsterdam, Netherlands||1st||100 m||10.90|
|1st||4 × 100 m relay||42.04 (NR)|
|Olympic Games||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||5th||100 m||10.90|
|9th (h)||4 × 100 m relay||42.88|
|2017||World Relays||Nassau, Bahamas||4th||4 × 100 m relay||43.11|
|World Championships||London, United Kingdom||3rd||100 m||10.96|
|8th||4 × 100 m relay||43.07|
|2018||World Indoor Championships||Birmingham, United Kingdom||5th||60 m||7.10|
|European Championships||Berlin, Germany||3rd||100 m||10.99|
|2nd||4 × 100 m relay||42.15|
|2019||European Indoor Championships||Glasgow, United Kingdom||2nd||60 m||7.14|
|World Championships||Doha, Qatar||7th (sf)||100 m||11.071|
|2021||World Relays||Chorzów, Poland||3rd||4 × 100 m relay||44.10|
|Olympic Games||Tokyo, Japan||17th (sf)||200m||23.03|
|7th (h)||4 × 100 m relay||42.812|
1Did not start in the final
2Did not finish in the final
- 100 metres – 10.81 (-0.3) (Beijing 2015) NR
- 150 metres – 16.93 (+2.0) (Amsterdam 2013)
- 200 metres – 21.63 (+0.2) (Beijing 2015) NR, ER, 3rd of all time
- 800 metres – 2:08.59 (Götzis 2014)
- 100 metres hurdles – 13.13 (-1.2) (Götzis 2014)
- High jump – 1.80 m (London 2012)
- Long jump – 6.78 m (+0.0) (Amsterdam 2014) NR
- Shot put – 14.66 m (Götzis 2015)
- Javelin throw – 42.82 m (Lisse 2014)
- Heptathlon – 6545 pts (Götzis 2014) ex-NR
- 4 × 100 metres relay – 42.04 (Amsterdam 2016) NR
- 60 metres – 7.00 (Berlin 2016) NR
- 60 metres hurdles – 8.18 (Apeldoorn 2012)
- High jump - 1.74 m (Dortmund 2009)
- Shot put – 13.91 m (Apeldoorn 2012)
- Long jump – 6.48 m (Apeldoorn 2015)
- (in Dutch) Biografie Archived 2015-08-28 at the Wayback Machine, Homepage Daphne Schippers. Retrieved on 3 June 2015.
- Athlete Profile – Dafne Schippers, IAAF. Retrieved on 3 June 2015.
- Women's Heptathlon, International Association of Athletics Federations - IAAF, 24 July 2010
- Women's 4 × 100 m final, International Association of Athletics Federations – IAAF, 24 July 2010
- Women's 200m - Heats - No surprises as Felix, Campbell-Brown and Jeter advance, International Association of Athletics Federations - IAAF, 1 September 2011
- Double delight for Ukraine in the 200m, European Athletics, 30 June 2012
- Sailer leads Germany to relay glory, European Athletics, 1 July 2012
- Canada's Warner and Theisen triumph in Gotzis, International Association of Athletics Federations - IAAF, 26 May 2013
- Report: Heptathlon 800m – Moscow 2013, International Association of Athletics Federations - IAAF, 14 August 2013
- Melnychenko inspired to gold by blue and yellow, Eaton adds to family medal collection, International Association of Athletics Federations - IAAF, 14 August 2013
- Hardee back on top, Johnson-Thompson breaks through in Gotzis, International Association of Athletics Federations - IAAF, 1 June 2014
- Schippers: ik kan nog meer, NOS (13 augustus 2014)
- Table-topping Britain win five golds on extraordinary last day in Zurich, European Athletics, 17 August 2014
- Driel, Mark van (14 August 2014). "Lastige keuze Schippers: sprint of meerkamp". de Volkskrant (in Dutch). Retrieved 14 August 2014.
- "Dafne Schippers to focus on sprint events". Athletics Weekly. 3 June 2015. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
- Schippers is the golden girl again, European Athletics, 8 March 2015
- Report: women's 200m final – IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015, International Association of Athletics Federations – IAAF, 28 August 2015
- "All time best 200 metres - Women - Senior - Outdoor". IAAF Records & Lists. International Association of Athletics Federations - IAAF. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
- Report: women’s 4x100m final – IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015, International Association of Athletics Federations - IAAF, 29 August 2015
- Report: women’s 4x100m heats – IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015, International Association of Athletics Federations - IAAF, 29 August 2015
- Dafne Schippers’ world championship success should not mean instant condemnation, The Guardian, 30 August 2015
- Three golds leave Poland top of the final medals table, European Athletics, 10 July 2016
- Gold all the sweeter for Schippers after Rio heartbreak, International Association of Athletics Federations – IAAF, 13 August 2017
- Report: women's 100m final – Rio 2016 Olympic Games, International Association of Athletics Federations – IAAF, 13 August 2016
- Report: women's 200m final – Rio 2016 Olympic Games, International Association of Athletics Federations - IAAF, 17 August 2016
- Boylan-Pett, Liam (17 August 2016). "Rio 2016: Elaine Thompson wins gold medal in women's 200m run". SB Nation. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
- Botched relay adds to Schippers’ Rio misery, Reuters, 18 August 2016
- Report: women's 4x100m heats – Rio 2016 Olympic Games, International Association of Athletics Federations – IAAF, 18 August 2016
- Inside the camp of sprint guru Rana Reider, The Telegraph, 8 July 2017
- Report: women's 200m final – IAAF World Championships London 2017, International Association of Athletics Federations – IAAF, 11 August 2017
- The Flying Dutchwoman, Spikes, 10 March 2015
- (in Dutch) Dafne Schippers eindigt als tweede op 200 meter bij EK atletiek, De Volkskrant, 11 August 2018
- (in Dutch) Samenwerking Schippers met Reider onder vergrootglas, Algemeen Dagblad, 11 August 2018
- (in Dutch) Schippers keert terug bij sprintcoach Bennema, NOS News, 28 November 2018
- OlympicTalk (2019-09-30). "Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Dafne Schippers out of world championships 200m". OlympicTalk. Retrieved 2019-09-30.
- Bridge named after athlete Dafne Schippers opens in Utrecht, Dutch News, 3 April 2017
- "Results: 14th IAAF World Championships". IAAF World Championships. International Association of Athletics Federations. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
- Did not finish in the final
- "Athlete Profile Dafne Schippers. Personal Bests". IAAF. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
- Official website
- Dafne Schippers at World Athletics
- Dafne Schippers at Diamond League
- Dafne Schippers at European Athletics (archived)
- Dafne Schippers at Koninklijke Nederlandse Atletiek Unie (in Dutch)
- Dafne Schippers at Olympics.com
- Dafne Schippers at OlympicChannel.com (archived)
- Dafne Schippers at Olympic.org (archived)
- Dafne Schippers at Olympedia
- Dafne Schippers at Olympics at Sports-Reference.com (archived)