Schippers is the golden girl again

Schippers is the golden girl again
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Dafne Schippers once again proved she's Europe's best sprinter by taking 60m gold in a world leading time of 7.05 in Prague.

The remarkable stranglehold that Dafne Schippers has over women's sprinting saw her win a third European title in a matter of seven months at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Prague on Sunday.

Which, when you consider she is still planning to return to the heptathlon, is some achievement. Just imagine how good she will be if she really concentrates on the events that have made her an international sporting heroine?

Her 60m victory on Sunday at the 02 Arena arguably put more of a stamp on her career than that of her 100m and 200m double in Zurich last summer because it showed that she possesses the trait that, through the years, stands out among the finest sprinters: she does not know when she is beaten.

At halfway in the final, the Dutch star was third, possibly fourth, in a race where Britain's Dina Asher-Smith, the world junior 100m champion in the lane immediately to her right, was in front.

At 40m, Asher-Smith still led, but suddenly the giant, marauding, powerful figure of Schippers switched to another gear after a bad start and came through to fly across the line for victory. Her time of of 7.05 was yet another personal best, it equalled the world lead and it confirmed everything that had been on show in Zurich.

"I am very happy with this gold medal because I am probably too tall for the 60m," said a beaming Schippers. "At 40m, what was going through my mind was 'stay relaxed'.

"I am still planning to do the heptathlon because that is also good to do, with the atmosphere and all the events."

At 5ft, 10ins - or 1.79m - Schippers might have an easier build for the high jump or throwing the shot put, but there is nothing awkward about the way she moves out of the blocks. And adversely, if as on Sunday she does not make the most blistering of breaks, her long legs have the ammunition to power her through.

It will be fascinating if she keeps the sprints at the forefront of her mind in the build to the IAAF World Championships in Beijing in the summer and then the Olympic Games in Rio next year, as she puts herself alongside the Jamaicans and Americans.

But if she thought the noise was electric in the 02 Arena throughout this weekend, it will be doubled and trebled next summer when the European Athletics Championships take place in Amsterdam.

They could probably sell the place out now on her alone.

The men's 60m also brought confirmation of the indoor ability of Britain's Richard Kilty, who added this European title to his world indoor crown from Sopot.

In a final where his teammate Chijundu Ujah was disqualified for a false start, Kilty was always in control as he won in a season's best of 6.51 from Germans Christian Blum, in 6.58, and Julian Reus, in 6.60m.

"It is my second gold medal indoors and now I am ready to show something outdoors," said Kilty.

"Maybe there were some people who thought I was just lucky in Sopot but I am confident."

A big summer, it seems, lies ahead for both Schippers and him.