05 April, 2016

Oslo: Flying Dutchwoman will be at Bislett Stadium

The legend of the “Flying Dutchman“ concerned a doomed ship that never reached port. However by 9th of June 2016, the current “Flying Dutchwoman”, Dafne Schippers, will have reached port and will compete in Oslo’s Bislett stadium

The World and European Champion will make her Bislett debut in the Diamond League 200m race, that will be one of the many highlights at this year’s ExxonMobil Bislett Games.

2016 will be an extraordinary year for Schippers as she plans to emulate the feats of another Dutch legend, Fanny Blankers-Koen and win the gold medal at 100 and 200 metres at the Olympic Games. A triumph achieved by the great Blankers-Koen at the 1948 Olympic Games (who managed to take the gold medals in the 80m hurdles and 4 x 100m relay as well).

Schippers (like Blankers-Koen) was a former top quality multi event athlete (IAAF World Junior Heptathlon Champion in 2010 / 12th at London Olympic Games) whose career has really blossomed after concentrating on the sprints. After breaking through at the 2013 European U23 Championships and winning the 100m, Schippers took the 100m and 200m sprint double at the European Championships in Zurich in 2014.

But it was at last year’s World Championships in Beijing that Schippers really displayed her true ability and potential, after finishing a close 2nd to dual Olympic Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in the 100m with a personal best of 10.81. The tall Dutch woman then won the 200m in a staggering time of 21.63. A performance which ranks her 3rd on the all-time list (behind Florence Griffith and Marion Jones) and is a European continental record!It is not since 1948 that the Netherlands has looked to the Olympic Games with any real hope of medals in a sprint event but this year Dafne Schippers looms as a huge possibility and someone who the rest of the world must deal with!In an historical note, Fanny Blankers-Koen actually competed in the Bislett stadium! The date was 1946 and the Dutch woman won the 100m and 200m at the European Championships in Oslo as a precursor to her medal winning rampage in London in1948. (Interesting that Fanny Blankers-Koen achieved this unique double in Oslo some 6 weeks after giving birth to her child Fanny junior.)

ExxonMobil Bislett Games