Schippers repeats 200m glory

The Netherlands’ Dafne Schippers defended her IAAF World Championship 200 metre title on Friday, relegating the Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller-Uibo to a bronze medal.

Schippers, winning in 22.05, also got the better of Côte d’Ivoire’s Marie-Josée Ta Lou, who was earning her second silver medal of the championships after her efforts in the 100 metres.

Dafne Schippers (left) as she won the 200m ahead of Côte d’Ivoire’s Marie-Josée Ta Lou and the Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller-Uibo.

Then Ta Lou got the better of Schippers, pushing her down to a bronze medal. 

Schippers benefitted from running a brilliant corner, to lead down the straightaway, just ahead of Ta Lou, who had all but made up the stagger at the end of the corner.

Ta Lou and Schippers were well away from Miller, whose very conservative corner left her fifth going into the the straight.  

Then the long legs of Miller-Uibo slowly began to draw the field back to her, but unfortunately for the tall Bahamian, she had not done enough work around the corner and ran out of real estate to finish fast in 22.15, well off her personal best of 21.91 this year.

Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith with a season’s best, 22.22, finished in fourth, the London crowd again having to watch one of their own finish just outside of medal positions.

The United States pair of Deejah Stevens, 22.44, and Kimberlyn Duncan, 22.59, were well beaten into fifth and sixth place, while Canada’s Crystal Emmanuel was seventh in 22.60.

Rounding out the field was another Bahamian, 24-year-old, Tynia Gaither, who finished in 23.07 seconds.

American Brittney Reese claimed her fourth world long jump title after a tense, tight contest in which only six centimetres separated the top four competitors.

Darya Klishina, competing as a neutral athlete after the Russian Federation was banned over state-sponsored doping, took silver for her first medal at a major finals after jumping seven meters for the first time in six years.

Titleholder and Olympic champion Tianna Bartoletta won bronze, squeezing on to the podium with her last jump ahead of Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic who missed out on a medal at a global finals for the first time since 2013.

Reese won with a leap of 7.02 meters on her third attempt and had to endure a nerve-wracking finale after receiving a red flag on her next three jumps.

The 30-year-old said it was an emotional moment after her grandfather passed away two weeks ago.

“I was doing this for him and I know he would have been cheering for me,” she said. “I’m a stronger person than I probably think I am. It has shown me mentally at my best.

“I’ll be continuing to Tokyo 2020. I’m not done yet, I can assure you.”

Meanwhile, Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs stunned the World Championships by winning gold and silver in a dramatic women’s 3,000 meters steeplechase final, the first Americans to get medals in the event.

Americans Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs hug after creating history in the 3000m steeplechase.

The duo were not counted among the outright favourites heading to London, although Coburn did win bronze at the Olympics last year.

The woman who beat her to gold in Rio was world record holder Ruth Jebet of Bahrain, who led at the 1000m and 2000m splits. But going into the final lap, Jebet faded and was overtaken by the Americans and Kenyans Hyvin Jepkemoi and Beatrice Chepkoech.

The leading pack was heavily congested heading into the last 200 meters.

But Coburn launched herself over the final water jump in a daring move that led to her surging down the final straight to win in a Championship record time of 9 minutes 2.58 seconds.

“Oh my goodness, what a race to be part of,” she said. “I have memories from 2015 and 2016 where I went too early for the last push, so I just had to keep trusting myself and be patient, and it looks like it paid off. I never expected to win in that time but I kept pressing. It is pretty amazing to get a championship record. I just expected the others to finish quickly, so I just kept pushing to make sure I got that gold that I wanted so much.” 

Source: (Reuters)

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