Dafne Schippers

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Dafne Schippers
Dafne Schippers2 London 2017 (cropped).jpg
Schippers in 2017
Personal information
Born (1992-06-15) 15 June 1992 (age 30)
Utrecht, Netherlands
Height1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)
Weight68 kg (150 lb)
Country Netherlands
SportTrack and field
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)100 m: 10.81 NR (2015)
200 m: 21.63 AR (2015)
800 m: 2:08.59 (2014)

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.

Early life[edit]

Dafne Schippers was born on 15 June 1992 in Utrecht, the Netherlands.[1][2] She started competing in athletics at the age of nine at the track and field club Hellas in Utrecht.[1]

Early career[edit]

Schippers originally competed in the heptathlon and won gold medals at the 2010 World Junior Championships in Athletics[3] 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.[4]

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,[5] 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.[6] 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.[7]

A year later, she started with a third place at the Hypo-Meeting, with 6287 points.[8] 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.[9][10] She became the first Dutch woman to win a medal in the hepthatlon at the World Athletics Championships.[9]

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.[11] At the European championships of 2014 Schippers won gold medals in the 100 m and the 200 m.[12] 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.[13]

Shifting to sprinting[edit]

200m women medalists at the 2015 World Championships in Athletics: Elaine Thompson, Dafne Schippers and Veronica Campbell-Brown

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.[14] 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).[15]

The 2015 season had started well with a win in the 60 m at the 2015 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Prague, (Czech Republic).[16] 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.[17] 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.[17][18] 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.[19] In the heats the team had also run 42.32, a new national record.[20] 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.[21]

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.[22]

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.[23] However, she finished fifth in the 100 m final,[24] 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.[25][26] 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.[23] "I came here for gold", she told reporters, disappointment showing in her face. "I'm not happy with the silver."[25] The Dutch relay team was eliminated in the heats due to a botched relay handover between Samuel and Schippers.[27][28]

Change of coaches[edit]

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[29] 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.[23][30] “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."[23] 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"[31] 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.[32] 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.[33] Reider suddenly left the National Sports Centre Papendal in the Netherlands in November 2018, and Schippers returned to her first coach, Bart Bennema.[34]

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.[35]


The Dafne Schippersbrug (Dafne Schippers Bridge) in Utrecht, where Schippers grew up, was opened in April 2017, and named in her honour.[36]

Competition record[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
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
11th Heptathlon 6324 pts
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)[37]
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[38]
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
2nd 200 m 21.88
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
1st 200 m 22.05
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 200 m 22.14
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

Personal bests[edit]

Schippers setting a national record on the 200 metres in Zürich in 2014
Schippers after winning the 60 metres in Prague in 2015


  1. ^ a b (in Dutch) Biografie Archived 2015-08-28 at the Wayback Machine, Homepage Daphne Schippers. Retrieved on 3 June 2015.
  2. ^ Athlete Profile – Dafne Schippers, IAAF. Retrieved on 3 June 2015.
  3. ^ Women's Heptathlon, International Association of Athletics Federations - IAAF, 24 July 2010
  4. ^ Women's 4 × 100 m final, International Association of Athletics Federations – IAAF, 24 July 2010
  5. ^ Women's 200m - Heats - No surprises as Felix, Campbell-Brown and Jeter advance, International Association of Athletics Federations - IAAF, 1 September 2011
  6. ^ Double delight for Ukraine in the 200m, European Athletics, 30 June 2012
  7. ^ Sailer leads Germany to relay glory, European Athletics, 1 July 2012
  8. ^ Canada's Warner and Theisen triumph in Gotzis, International Association of Athletics Federations - IAAF, 26 May 2013
  9. ^ a b Report: Heptathlon 800m – Moscow 2013, International Association of Athletics Federations - IAAF, 14 August 2013
  10. ^ Melnychenko inspired to gold by blue and yellow, Eaton adds to family medal collection, International Association of Athletics Federations - IAAF, 14 August 2013
  11. ^ Hardee back on top, Johnson-Thompson breaks through in Gotzis, International Association of Athletics Federations - IAAF, 1 June 2014
  12. ^ Schippers: ik kan nog meer, NOS (13 augustus 2014)
  13. ^ Table-topping Britain win five golds on extraordinary last day in Zurich, European Athletics, 17 August 2014
  14. ^ Driel, Mark van (14 August 2014). "Lastige keuze Schippers: sprint of meerkamp". de Volkskrant (in Dutch). Retrieved 14 August 2014.
  15. ^ "Dafne Schippers to focus on sprint events". Athletics Weekly. 3 June 2015. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
  16. ^ Schippers is the golden girl again, European Athletics, 8 March 2015
  17. ^ a b Report: women's 200m final – IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015, International Association of Athletics Federations – IAAF, 28 August 2015
  18. ^ "All time best 200 metres - Women - Senior - Outdoor". IAAF Records & Lists. International Association of Athletics Federations - IAAF. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  19. ^ Report: women’s 4x100m final – IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015, International Association of Athletics Federations - IAAF, 29 August 2015
  20. ^ Report: women’s 4x100m heats – IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015, International Association of Athletics Federations - IAAF, 29 August 2015
  21. ^ Dafne Schippers’ world championship success should not mean instant condemnation, The Guardian, 30 August 2015
  22. ^ Three golds leave Poland top of the final medals table, European Athletics, 10 July 2016
  23. ^ a b c d Gold all the sweeter for Schippers after Rio heartbreak, International Association of Athletics Federations – IAAF, 13 August 2017
  24. ^ Report: women's 100m final – Rio 2016 Olympic Games, International Association of Athletics Federations – IAAF, 13 August 2016
  25. ^ a b Report: women's 200m final – Rio 2016 Olympic Games, International Association of Athletics Federations - IAAF, 17 August 2016
  26. ^ Boylan-Pett, Liam (17 August 2016). "Rio 2016: Elaine Thompson wins gold medal in women's 200m run". SB Nation. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  27. ^ Botched relay adds to Schippers’ Rio misery, Reuters, 18 August 2016
  28. ^ Report: women's 4x100m heats – Rio 2016 Olympic Games, International Association of Athletics Federations – IAAF, 18 August 2016
  29. ^ Inside the camp of sprint guru Rana Reider, The Telegraph, 8 July 2017
  30. ^ Report: women's 200m final – IAAF World Championships London 2017, International Association of Athletics Federations – IAAF, 11 August 2017
  31. ^ The Flying Dutchwoman, Spikes, 10 March 2015
  32. ^ (in Dutch) Dafne Schippers eindigt als tweede op 200 meter bij EK atletiek, De Volkskrant, 11 August 2018
  33. ^ (in Dutch) Samenwerking Schippers met Reider onder vergrootglas, Algemeen Dagblad, 11 August 2018
  34. ^ (in Dutch) Schippers keert terug bij sprintcoach Bennema, NOS News, 28 November 2018
  35. ^ OlympicTalk (2019-09-30). "Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Dafne Schippers out of world championships 200m". OlympicTalk. Retrieved 2019-09-30.
  36. ^ Bridge named after athlete Dafne Schippers opens in Utrecht, Dutch News, 3 April 2017
  37. ^ "Results: 14th IAAF World Championships". IAAF World Championships. International Association of Athletics Federations. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  38. ^ Did not finish in the final
  39. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Athlete Profile Dafne Schippers. Personal Bests". IAAF. Retrieved 17 June 2017.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Women's 200m European record holder
28 August 2015 – present
Preceded by Women's European Athlete of the Year
2014, 2015
Succeeded by
Preceded by Dutch Sportswoman of the Year
Succeeded by