Women’s sprints: Dutch star SCHIPPERS seeking triple crown
BERLIN - Dutch sprint star Dafne SCHIPPERS is aiming to win a third successive 100m title at the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships where she will face a major threat from British record holder Dina ASHER-SMITH.
SCHIPPERS has achieved at least one major championships gold since she switched from multi-events to sprinting in 2014, winning the 100m-200m double at that year's European championships in Zurich and retaining the shorter title in Amsterdam two years ago.
She also won the world 200m crown in 2015 and 2017, and Olympic silver in the longer race at Rio 2016.
ASHER-SMITH will be a danger in both events in Berlin. She is the defending 200m champion and narrowly ahead of her Dutch rival on this season's bests. At 100m she has broken 11 seconds three times in 2018, including a national record of 10.92.
Amsterdam 100m bronze medallist Mujinga KAMBUNDJI will also be a contender in both sprints. She set the Swiss 100m record this year, running 10.95 at the Swiss championships.
SCHIPPERS’s Dutch team-mate Jamile SAMUEL is another to watch after she beat her compatriot over 200m at the London Diamond League in July.
That pair will team-up to defend their 4x100m relay title against Great Britain, Germany and a Swiss quartet that has already broken its national record this year.
Another hat-trick chaser features in the 400m, with Libania GRENOT (ITA) aiming to retain her titles from Zurich and Amsterdam against Lisanne DE WITTE (NED) and Agne SERKSNIENE (LTU).
Europe’s quickest one-lap runner is Lea SPRUNGER (SUI) but she will focus on the 400m hurdles where Britain’s Eilidh DOYLE (GBR) should be her main challenger along with two-time world champion and Olympic bronze medallist Zuzana HEJNOVA (CZE), who is returning from injury.
Great Britain will be favourites to defend their 4x400m title after four of their squad ran sub-51.70 at the London Diamond League. France will be also be tough to beat with renowned relay runner Floria GUEI (FRA) in their line-up.
Hosts Germany will have high hopes in the 100m hurdles in whch reigning champion Cindy ROLEDER and world bronze medallist Pamela DUTKIEWICZ go for gold.
European leader Alina TALAY has run a Belarus record of 12.41 this season, while her team-mate and former European under 20 champion, Elvira HERMAN, posted a national under 23 record.
Dutch record holder Nadine VISSER is also in form as is Norway’s quickest ever, Isabelle PEDERSEN.
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