The women’s 200m at the ExxonMobil Bislett Games has become one of the most intriguing clashes of the IAAF Diamond League. The clash between the “flying Dutchwoman” Dafne Schippers and Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson is truly a match up to wet any appetite.
Schippers of course has become the pride of the continent with sensational double at the 2014 European Championships where she convincingly won the 100m and 200m events. Since then she has progressed to be the World Champion at 200m in a performance of 21.63, which made her the 3rd fastest 200m runner of all time and was also the overall winner of the Diamond League at this distance.
Following on from her magical breakthrough season in 2015, Schippers has continued her brilliant form this year, by claiming a hard fought silver medal at the World Indoor Championships over her non favoured distance of 60m. More recently she showed excellent form when she finished brilliantly in the Doha Diamond League 100m to claim 2nd place in a very swift time of 10.83 – her second fastest 100m ever – and last weekend she looked ridiculously easy over 200m, when she stopped the clock at 22.02 in less than favourable conditions.
However, the Dutch superstar will not have things her own way as she will encounter her fiercest rival in the 200m in Oslo, the highly talented Jamaican Elaine Thompson who in a very short time has developed a fearsome competition record. Thompson first came to light in early 2015 with some startling performances on home soil and in various Diamond League competitions (at 100m in Eugene and 200m in London). But it was at the World Championships where the native of Banana Grove in Manchester, Jamaica really showed her class by running a startling 21.66 for the 200m and finishing inches behind the winner Dafne Schippers’s 21.63.
The couple renewed their rivalry at the recent World Indoor Championships where Schippers narrowly took silver and Thompson the Bronze. Once again the margin between the two athletes was very small indeed, in Portland a mere two hundreds of a second separated the two at the finish.
Of course Thompson showed that she is well advanced in her Olympic preparation by clocking an impressive 10.87 to win the Diamond League 100m in Rome and looks to be quickly approaching her very best form.
The margins between these high class athletes has been miniscule. Both are clearly in supreme shape and a winning time under 22 seconds will surprise nobody.
ExxonMobil Bislett Games