Dutch team aims for medals at home in Amsterdam

Schippers and Hassan on the golden trail again
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Dutch stars Dafne Schippers and Sifan Hassan will look to defend their titles as part of a 54-strong host nation team announced for the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam which start in less than nine days.

Schippers will run in the 100m, where she triumphed in Zurich in 11.12, along with the sprint relay, while Hassan will aim to make it a second successive European gold in the 1500m. Two years ago, she produced a stirring performance to win in the Letzigrund Stadium in 4:04.18.

"The European Championships in your own country is a unique opportunity in a unique place," said Ad Roskam, the Dutch federation's Technical Director.

"Athletes make this happen once in their career...With the largest team ever at a European Athletics Championship, we look forward to a sold out stadium and the support of our home crowd."

Dafne Schippers will be the main attraction over 100m and 4x100m at the Amsterdam 2016 European Athletics Championships.
Dafne Schippers will be the main attraction over 100m and 4x100m at the Amsterdam 2016 European Athletics Championships.

Not since the Olympic Games in Amsterdam in 1928 has the Netherlands staged a major outdoor athletics championships, with next month's event starting a fortnight tomorrow, 6 July, and running through until 10 July.

Schippers, who has been voted female European Athlete of the Year for the past two years (2014, 2015), has become one of the biggest names in track and field across the world.

Her 100m glory in Zurich came in her first season as a major sprinter. She also won the 200m gold and then last summer progressed to take the world title at 200m.

Hassan will also take some stopping at the Olympic Stadium, roared on by the home crowd for an event where she dug deep for her success in Zurich.

There are 26 men and 28 women selected and Churandy Martina will be a big hope in the men's 200m along with Thijmen Kupers, who moved to fourth on this year's European 800m rankings at the weekend when he won the trials in 1:45.25.

Eelco Sintnicolaas, the 2013 European indoor heptathlon champion will be among the crowd favourites in the decathlon at the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam from 6-10 July.
Eelco Sintnicolaas, the 2013 European indoor heptathlon champion will be among the crowd favourites in the decathlon at the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam from 6-10 July.

Decathlete Eelco Sintnicolaas, the 2013 European indoor heptathlon champion, and heptathlete Nadine Broersen, the 2014 European silver medallist and 2014 world indoor pentathlon champion, will also be among the main Dutch hopes for gold, while 100m hurdler Nadine Visser won bronze at last year's European Athletics U23 Championships in Tallinn.

On the morning of the final day of the championships, the first-ever European half marathon will take place and the Netherlands will have five runners in the men's race and four in the women's.

MEN

Churandy Martina (100m, 200m 4x100m); Hensley Paulina (100m, 4x100m), Solomon Bockarie (100m, 200m, 4x100m), Liemarvin Bonevacia (400m, 4x400m), Patrick van Luijk (4x100m), Giovanni Codrington (4x100m), Dimitri Juliet (4x100m), Bjorn Blauwhof (4x400m), Jurgen Wielart (4x400m), Terrence Agard (4x400m), Maarten Stuivenberg (4x400m), Gregory Sedoc (110m hurdles), Thijmen Kupers (800m), Richard Douma (1500m), Dennis Licht (5000m), Menno Vloon (Pole Vault), Fabian Florant (Triple Jump), Erik Cadee (Discus), Rutger Smith (Discus), Eelco Sintnicolaas (Decathlon), Pieter Braun (Decathlon), Abdi Nageeye (Half marathon), Khalid Choukoud (Half marathon), Tom Wiggers (Half marathon), Bart van Nunen (Half marathon), Michel Butter (Half marathon).

WOMEN

Dafne Schippers (100m 4x100m), Jamile Samuel (100, 200m, 4x100m), Naomi Sedney (100, 4x100m), Tessa van Schagen (200m, 4x100m), Lisanne de Witte (400m 4x400m), Nicky van Leuveren (400m, 4x400m), Marije van Hunenstijn (4x100m), Madiea Ghafoor (4x100m), Laura de Witte (4x400m), Eva Hovenkamp (4x400m), Nadine Visser (100m hurdles), Eefje Boons (100m hurdles), Bianca Baak (400m hurdles, 4x400m), Sanna Verstegen (800m), Sifan Hassan (1500m), Maureen Koster (500m), Susan Kuijken  (5000m), Jip Vastenburg (10,000m), Femke Pluim (Pole Vault), Rianna Galiart (Pole Vault), Melissa Boekelman (Shot Put), Corinne Nugter (Discus), Nadine Broersen (Heptathlon), Anouk Vetter (Heptathlon), Kim Dillen (Half marathon), Elizeba Cherono (Half marathon), Jamie van Lieshout (Half marathon), Ruth van der Meijden (Half marathon).