International Athletics

Schippers wants Flo-Jo's 200m record

2015-09-10 21:25
Dafne Schippers (File)

Brussels - Dafne Schippers warned Thursday that the longstanding world record in the women's 200 metres held by the late Florence Griffith-Joyner could be under threat.

Schippers provided one of the more memorable moments at last month's world championships in Beijing when she smashed a 36-year-old European record to capture the 200m gold.

The Dutch sprinter clocked an electric 21.63 seconds for victory, the fourth fastest time ever, just days after her silver in the 100m.

It was a remarkable run by Schippers, 23, who eclipsed the European record of 21.71sec set by Marita Koch in 1979 and matched by fellow East German Heike Drechsler in 1986.

Only Americans Marion Jones and Griffith-Joyner have run the 200m faster than Schippers, who said the latter's world record of 21.34sec set in 1988 was on her radar.

"Before the 200m final in Beijing, I didn't know I could run this time, so I surprised myself," Schippers said ahead of Friday's season-ending Diamond League meet in Brussels, where she will come up against multiple medal winner American Allyson Felix, who stepped up from her favoured 200m to claim world 400m gold in Beijing.

"I'm 23, I have all the time (to break the world record). I hope so. We will see what happens in the coming years. I'm training as a sprinter, it's step by step, I think.

"I hoped to run under 22 seconds in Beijing and I did, it was faster than I hoped. Maybe it (breaking the world record) is possible, but I need some time, that's normal. I think more about it than before."

The careers of Koch, Dreschler, Jones and "Flo-Jo" were unfortunately plagued by doping allegations and Schippers was again quick to distance herself Thursday.

"I know I'm 100 percent clean. What more can I say?" she asked.

Schippers also won heptathlon bronze at the Moscow worlds in 2013, but insisted her days in the gruelling multi-discipline event were over although she will likely compete in some long jumps next season.

"I think I am a sprinter now!" she joked.

"I like to train in winter for the other events and I will do that this winter, but I will compete only in the sprints and maybe in the long jump."

Schippers said that with adequate training, she should be long jumping a very competitive 7 metres, denying that it would interfere with her sprinting future.

"You have to have a little fun," she said, adding, however, that at next year's Rio Olympics the "100 and 200m will be enough".

Schippers acknowledged that her life had changed since her outstanding performances in the Chinese capital.

"Life's become a little bit difficult, but I try to stay relaxed. People recognise me in the street when I walk my dog," she said.

"It's very busy now, it's been hectic but it's also nice when people see you and know who you are."

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