Schippers storms to European 150m best of 16.56 in Ostrava

Dafne Schippers
Getty Images

The Netherlands' Dafne Schippers has been plagued by a lingering back injury this season but the 2015 and 2017 world 200m champion has been running herself into form towards the end of this season.

Just two days after winning over 100m in Chorzow in 11.29, Schippers won a rarely-contested 150m race at the Golden Spike in Ostrava, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting on Tuesday (8) in a world lead and European best of 16.56.

Schippers powered clear from Switzerland’s Ajla Del Ponte in the last 50 metres at a distance which she described as “really perfect.” This was her first race at the distance in seven years and Schippers also came within one-tenth of Merlene Ottey’s long-standing world best. 

“A couple of weeks ago I was fighting with a back injury and I could not train as normal, so it makes me really happy with a time like this. 150 metre track is perfect for me; I can run fast and not that far. 200 meters makes me more tired so this is a really perfect distance for me, I guess,” she said.

Her Dutch teammate Femke Bol extended her winning streak over the barriers in 2020, winning the seldom run 300m hurdles in a world lead of 38.55 ahead of fellow 20-year-old Emma Zapletalova from Slovakia in 38.97. 

Karsten Warholm’s winning time in the 400m hurdles was faster than the time he posted to win his world title and his European title in Berlin but the Norwegian turned his nose up and looked distinctly unimpressed when he crossed the finish-line and glanced over at the clock.

Warholm clocked 47.62 to notch up his twelfth successive win in the 400m hurdles but the European Athlete of the Year had aspirations of going considerably faster. Warholm has been inching closer to Kevin Young’s long-standing world record of 46.78 in recent seasons, improving to 46.92 last year and down to 46.87 in his last race in Stockholm.

“Maybe I was getting a bit tired in the end? But still, this is a sport and you have to take whatever you get,” said Warholm who is considering another outing in the Rome Diamond League next week.

His compatriot Jakob Ingebrigtsen was a late entrant into the 1500m and the reigning European champion, who only arrived in the Czech city late on Monday evening, prevailed in a paced race which developed into a tactical encounter on the last lap.

Ingebrigtsen held all challengers at bay on the last circuit, cruising to his second successive high profile win in 3:33.92 just four days after a solo victory in the Brussels Diamond League in 3:30.69.

“Originally we thought this race did not suit our plans for this season and I did not plan to run. But I am a racer so  why just to sit at home and watch? I wanted a good tactical race,” said Ingebrigtsen who will close his season at the Norwegian Championships later this month.

Sifan Hassan also embarked on a quick turnaround after setting a world record in the one hour in the Brussels Diamond League on Friday night. Her 5000m in Ostrava was initially billed as a European record attempt but the world 1500m and 10,000m champion was content to settle for the victory, sprinting away from her challengers on the last lap in 14:37.85. 

“Because of this one hour race, I am still tired. It was tough because of my body but I just tried to do the best I could in the last 400 metres,” she said.

There was also a pair of British victories in the 800m. European 1500m champion Laura Muir just missed the world lead as she cruised to a near-two second victory in 1:58.84 ahead of Poland’s Sofia Ennaoui, who was also second to Muir over 1500m in Chorzow on Sunday (6) evening, in 2:00.82.

Her teammate Jake Wightman prevailed in one of the most competitive races on the programme, defeating a bumper field of 15 athletes in the men’s 800m. His 1500m strength came to fruition in the home straight as he kicked to a lifetime best of 1:44.18 to lead three other Europeans under the 1:45-mark.

Having come so close on so many occasions Andreas Kramer finally smashed through the 1:45-barrier with a Swedish record of 1:44.47. World silver medallist Amel Tuka improved to 1:44.51 in third while European indoor 400m bronze medallist Tony van Diepen made a significant improvement over twice the distance, taking his lifetime best down from 1:46.90 to 1:44.82.

Elsewhere Daniel Stahl notched up his 15th successive win in the discus with 66.42m and Barbora Spotakova delivered a popular victory on home soil in the javelin, setting a big season’s best of 65.19m.

Full results here