Dafne Schippers has a world title to defend over 200m in London but the 24-year-old will still be placing just as much emphasis on the 100m this summer.
Schippers has won three medals in the sprints at the last two global outdoor championships and while the 200m is widely considered to be her best event, one of her main goals is to bring her 100m lifetime best of 10.81 in line with her European 200m record of 21.63.
The Dutchwoman has firmly exposed herself as one of the world’s best sprinters since moving away from the multi-events in 2015 but Schippers believes there is still room for improvement. She altered her coaching set-up after the Olympics - her lead coach is now Rana Reider - and ruled herself out of the indoor season as part of her bid to run faster.
“It feels strange that I did not have an indoor season, but I'm ready to start racing again. I hope to improve my personal best in the 100m in 2017 and preferably go below 10.80. You have to aim high,” Schippers told Algemeen Dagblad.
Schippers, who is equal fourth on the European all-time 100m lists with 10.81 alongside Marlies Gohr, has not raced individually since September but the reigning world 200m champion looked in excellent shape at the Florida Relays, where she closed up a seemingly insurmountable gap to anchor her team to victory in the 4x200m.
What a 4x200 that was today! pic.twitter.com/LapS0D31q5
— Dafne Schippers (@dafneschippers) April 1, 2017
Schippers will be on relay duty again at the World Relays in Nassau next weekend before she opens her individual season at the Doha Diamond League on 5 May where she will go head-to-head with double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson from Jamaica over 200m. Another key date in her diary is 11 June where she will race on home soil for the first time since the Amsterdam 2016 European Athletics Championships at the FBK Games in Hengelo.
“I love to run in front of a home crowd. Everyone is so excited. That gives me a thrill,” she said.