Schippers goes back to her roots

Schippers goes back to her roots
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Dafne Schippers completes her golden sprinting double at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich

Dafne Schippers, the female European Athlete of the Year, will be back among old friends and old disciplines when she returns to the heptathlon in May.

Schippers has been announced as one of the main names at the Hypo-meeting in Götzis, an event which will see the return of Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill to the heptathlon.

 

 

It will be some occasion for Schippers whose career took an unexpected new course last summer after she had finished third in Götzis.

While everything looked geared towards her competing in the seven discipline event at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich, she ended up running the sprints instead.

And the outcome was a moment of Dutch athletics history as she followed the lead of Fanny Blankers-Koen 60 years earlier in Brussels by winning the 100m and 200m in a sensational performance.

Watch the women's 200m race from Zurich here:

It was a golden double which led to Schippers being honoured at the Golden Tracks awards ceremony in Baku in October when she hinted that in 2015 she might follow her path of 2014.

The first part of that looks set to be the case with her back in Götzis where she will also face the two women who finished in front of her last time.

As Schippers scored 6545 points, Great Britain’s Katarina Johnson-Thompson won with 6682 while Canada’s Brianne Theisen-Eaton was second with 6641.

The return of Ennis-Hill, who missed last summer after becoming a mum, will be in her first big heptathlon on her road to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio where she will attempt to defend her title.

And it will show once more the strength of British multi-eventing as she faces Thompson-Johnson and also Morgan Lake, who would only have just turned 18, and could be one of the stars of this summer’s European Athletics Junior Championships in Eskilstuna.

Lake is among the most promising youngsters in the sport and last year won double gold at the IAAF World Junior Championships, with victory in the heptathlon and high jump.