Schippers shifts up a gear to take 200m gold

Fri Aug 28, 2015 1:14pm EDT
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By Nick Mulvenney

BEIJING (Reuters) - Dutch flier Dafne Schippers completed her transformation from heptathlete to world champion sprinter when she ran the fourth fastest 200 meters of all time to win by a nose at the Bird's Nest on Friday.

The 23-year-old European champion clocked 21.63 seconds to beat Jamaica's Elaine Thompson by three-hundredths of a second and add gold to the silver medal she won in the 100m behind Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce on Monday.

Only Americans Florence Griffith-Joyner, the world record holder, and Marion Jones, who was later banned for doping, have run faster.

"I can't believe it," Schippers, who only switched her focus to the sprints full time this year, told reporters.

"What a race! What a tournament for me! I think they'll be going crazy in the Netherlands at the moment."

Twice Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown took bronze (21.97) in a race which featured two of the five fastest 200 meters of all time and six of the seven fastest of 2015.

Aries Merritt's achievement in winning bronze in the 110 meters hurdles was perhaps the most impressive of the night, however, given the Olympic champion will undergo a kidney transplant on Tuesday.

The world record holder finished third behind Russian Sergey Shubenkov and the delighted 30-year-old explained why his sister was not cheering him on at the Bird's Nest.   Continued...

Dafne Schippers of Netherlands (C) celebrates as she crosses the finish line to win the women's 200 metres final during the 15th IAAF World Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing, China August 28, 2015. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez