Schippers to tune up in Birmingham on road to Rio

Thu Apr 7, 2016 1:36pm EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - World 200 meters champion Dafne Schippers will use Birmingham's Diamond League meeting as a testing ground ahead of her bid for an Olympic sprint double in Rio.

The Dutch sprinter hopes to emulate Fanny Blankers-Koen at the Summer Games by winning both the 100m and 200m 68 years after her compatriot secured her double triumph in London.

Schippers will race in the 100m in Birmingham on June 5 as she fine-tunes her preparations for Brazil.

“The Birmingham Diamond League will be a good race to test myself early in the season and start the road to Rio,” Schippers said.

Schippers will be one of the top names on a bill that includes Britain's double Olympic champion Mo Farah.

Kenya's 800m world record holder David Rudisha will step down to race over 600m, the same distance he ran in Birmingham in 2014.

“I loved running 600 at the Birmingham Diamond League... Running 600m is a good part of my preparations this Olympic Year," Rudisha said.

"My training has been going well and I am looking forward to a good year.”

In the shot put, New Zealand's Valerie Adams will be attempting a hat-trick of wins in Birmingham, having already triumphed in 2012 and 2014.   Continued...

Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands celebrates her silver medal finish in the women's 60 meters final during the IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships in Portland, Oregon March 19, 2016. Picture taken March 19, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson - RTSBCV6