Sprint queen Schippers defeats Felix in marker for Rio

Fri Sep 11, 2015 5:21pm EDT
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By Philip Blenkinsop

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - World champion Dafne Schippers proved she will be the sprinter to beat over 200 meters at next year's Rio Games with victory over Olympic champion Allyson Felix at the Diamond League athletics finale in Brussels on Friday.

The Dutchwoman, a former heptathlete who took the 200m world title in Beijing with the fourth fastest time in history, showed she has finishing speed to pull clear and finish in 22.12 seconds.

Felix, who won the 400 meters in Beijing but did not run the 200 meters due to a scheduling clash, was a further 0.10 seconds back, but did at least have the consolation of winning the season-long Diamond Race and its $40,000 cash prize.

Schippers, 23, said she was delighted to have settled any lingering debate about who is the fastest for now.

"If you can win everything it gives you a good feeling. It's a fine way of ending the season," she said.

Felix said her final 100 meters was lacking, perhaps a result of focusing on the 400 meters for most of the season, but commended Schippers on an incredible year.

"That's a big confidence booster and you expect her to do well," she said.

"I think there's just a lot of new talent in the 200 meters and that's something exciting to have," added Felix, who hopes to compete in both the 200 and 400 meters in Rio.   Continued...

Dafne Schippers of Netherland reacts after winning the women's 200 metres during the IAAF Diamond League athletics meeting, also known as Memorial Van Damme, in Brussels September 11, 2015. REUTERS/Eric Vidal