14 June, 2017

SPRINTERS SET TO SOAR IN BISLETT

  • Fotograf: Jean-Pierre Durand

Olympic silver medal winner, Canadian Andre De Grasse returns to Oslo looking to repeat last year’s win in the 100m at the Bislett Games, the fifth IAAF Diamond League qualifying meeting of 2017.

He faces a strong field of potential sub-10 athletes in what is likely to be one of most competitive events of the evening.  European record holder Jimmy Vicaut has already run sub 10 this season.  Britons Adam Gemili and CJ Ujah will be looking to improve on their season’s bests of 10.03 (wind assisted) and 10.02 respectively.  Churandy Martina of the Netherlands could also be in the mix.

De Grasse said “Last year was my first time in Oslo and first at the Bislett Games.  I am looking forward to be backing again. I believe a sub-10 is possible if the weather is good as I am just beginning to come into form.

“It is a very good field with European and world athletes.  A couple of my training partners are here and I love to run with these guys.”

In the 200m women Diamond Discipline, former heptathlete and Dutch superstar Daphne Schippers will be hoping to celebrate her birthday with more Diamond League points as she continues her preparations to defend her World Championship crown.  

Schippers, the reigning World Champion at the 200m and silver medalist in Rio, finished fourth in Eugene in a wind assisted 22.30.

Her biggest competition is likely to come from Murielle Ahouré of Ivory Coast who will start her 200m season in Oslo.

Last year Schippers set the Meeting Record in the 200m with a time 21.93.

She said, “I was very happy with my time as it was rainy and cold; we will see tomorrow what is possible.  I will make a stab at sub 22 if the weather is good.  I will be working hard on the second part of the race as it is important for me to finish strongly.”

Asked about whether they prefer 100m or 200m; De Grasse said “I like the excitement of the 100m, it is fast and has such high respect but maybe I am better at 200m.”   

Schippers added, “100m is so fast and over quickly so I like the 200m as I can use my mind more.” 

On their goals for the season, Schippers said, “First I need to get to the finals at the World Championships [in London] then I will aim to medal.  Women’s sprinting is very fast this season and it is at the Worlds where we have to deliver.”

De Grasse commented, “I am going to run in the 100m, 200m and 4 x100m at the Championships.  It is a very interesting time in men’s sprinting with Usain Bolt retiring this year.  It will be very sad to see him go.  He has done so much for the sport and I love racing against him.

“I start every race aiming to do my best.  I set very high goals.  I do not think about racing Usain; I just focus on my lane and think about executing my own race.”