Schippers in for the long haul

Schippers in for the long haul
European Athletics

Dafne Schippers could be interested in competing in the long jump next season as she believes in her ability to clear 7 metres.

It is a busy 24 hours for Dutch star Dafne Schippers - and the future is packed with major prospect too.

Schippers runs tonight in the second of the IAAF Diamond League finals when she faces Olympic champion Allyson Felix in the 200m in Brussels and then on Saturday she is one of the star acts when she returns to street athletics at the Great North CityGames in Newcastle.

But while she now calls herself a sprinter - and a pretty good one too after winning 200m gold and 100m silver at last month’s world championships to go alongside her double glory from last summer’s European Athletics Championships - she plans to add another discipine to her repetoire.

"I want to do something else other than just sprint," said Schippers, 23.

That ‘something’ will not be ‘something’ new for the former heptathlete - as she is looking at returning to the long jump and, speaking to Reuters ahead of her run in Brussels, she added: "I train for it every two weeks."

Schippers holds the Dutch record of 6.78m and believes she can break seven metres; if she did that in Beijing, she would have been challenging for a medal.

Her return to a field event at a major championship is unlikely to be next summer as she prepares for the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam, where she will be such a heroine, and the Olympics in Rio by concentrating on the sprints.

Her 200m victory in Beijing in 21.63 broke the European record, the championship record and remains the best in the world this year.

It put her third on the all-time list, where the world record is 21.34 by American Florence Griffith-Joyner.

Is that a target for Schippers?

"Before the 200m final in Beijing, I didn't know I could run this time, so I surprised myself," she said, speaking to AFP. "I am 23, I have all the time (to break the world record). I hope so. We will see what happens in the coming years."

A crowd of 25,000 is expected on the Newcastle-Gateshead Quayside on Saturday for the Great North CityGames where Schippers will run in the 100m and how she enjoyed such a stage back in May at the CityGames in Manchester.

She said: "It was my first experience of street athletics and it was amazing. The crowd are so close to the athletes and the atmosphere is incredible. I would love to see something like it in my own country, in Amsterdam maybe."