Dutch with double-gold Schippers win relay sprints at Euros
AMSTERDAM (AP) Wrapped in a Dutch flag, bedecked in orange and celebrating gold. That was Dafne Schippers at the European Championships, showing the edge that will make her a major sprint contender at the Olympics next month.
Her 200 meters is so strong she didn't even test it at the continental event. In a chill, she left everyone standing in the 100 on Friday and on Sunday, the Dutch women's 4x100 relay team mixed Schippers' sheer speed with clockwork orange baton exchanges for a national record of 42.04 seconds. That makes the team a medal contender in Rio de Janeiro too.
Schippers leaves the Euros with 2-for-2 in gold and the knowledge that her start has improved to the extent that she can challenge the Americans and Jamaicans over 100 as well as 200, where she is already the world champion.
''Let's go for more,'' said Schippers after the championships, which ended Sunday.
On Sunday, she made a huge difference on the second leg and the team sped to a Dutch and second best performance this year. It was a display good enough to make the Dutch medal contenders in Rio, something few would have thought ahead of Sunday's race.
Schippers already won the 100 with overwhelming power. She skipped the relay heats at the last moment on Saturday because of a tight hamstring but had fully recovered with a dominating leg on Sunday.
Well behind the Dutch, Britain took silver and Germany bronze.
In the men's relay, Britain did one better, successfully defending its title ahead of France and Germany. For Europe's fastest man, France's Jimmy Vicaut, it concluded a disappointing championship after he slipped to bronze in the 100 meters on Thursday.
Without the Russians, the big question was how other nations would profit from their absence and at the end on Sunday, Poland was top with six gold medals, driven by strong performances in the middle distance and field events.
When it comes to the overall medal standings, Britain and Germany were even at 16 medals each.