Dafne Schippers retires
ONE OF the most exciting races in the 2015 World Athletics Championships saw Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson Herah surging to the final straight only to be caught and passed by Dafne Schippers of Holland.
Ironically, just as Thompson Herah is on the rebound, Schippers has announced her retirement. The 31-year-old Dutchwoman leaves the sport with two individual World Championship titles and an Olympic silver medal.
Schippers announced her decision on social media this week, posting, “The race stops here. As an athlete, you always know this day will come, that at one point, your career will be a moment in time, a collection of memories and hopefully medals.”
Her ‘race’ began in the heptathlon. She was World Under-20 champion in 2010 and took a senior World Championship bronze in 2013. However, her sprinting ability was undeniable. She took the 100-200-metre double at the 2014 European Championships. By 2015, she was a full-time sprinter, placing second to Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in the World 100 final and winning the first of her two World titles over Thompson Herah in that climactic 200 final in which Veronica Campbell-Brown was third.
Her winning time of 21.63 seconds established a European record that still stands.
After a disappointing fifth-place finish in the 100, she was second to Thompson Herah in the 2016 Olympics in the 200.
Schippers retained her World 200 title in 2017 and took bronze in the 100.
Her form dipped after that. She won medals in both the 100 and 200 at the 2018 European Championships and reached her last international final in 2019, at the Doha World Championships, where injury forced her to withdraw from the 100=metre final.
Ranked number one in the world over 200 metres in 2015 by the respected US publication TRACK AND FIELD NEWS, Schippers wrote, “Today, I have decided to take my life off track to pursue and embrace whatever comes next, but not without saying a massive thank you for all the endless support. It has been a journey without regret.”
The 21.63 makes her the sixth-fastest woman of all time over 200 metres.