Lunge clinches schippers' gold

Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands celebrating her exhilarating victory in the 200m in Beijing yesterday. Schippers, who earlier won silver in the 100m, lunged to win in 21.63 seconds, edging out Jamaica's Elaine Thompson by just three-hundredths of
Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands celebrating her exhilarating victory in the 200m in Beijing yesterday. Schippers, who earlier won silver in the 100m, lunged to win in 21.63 seconds, edging out Jamaica's Elaine Thompson by just three-hundredths of a second.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Dramatic finish as Dutch sprinter produces fourth-fastest 200m time in history

BEIJING • Dutch sprinter Dafne Schippers smashed a European record which has stood since the 1970s as she won the world 200m gold with an electrifying run yesterday.

The 100m silver medallist finished in 21.63 seconds, the fourth-fastest time in history, as she lunged at the line to beat Jamaica's Elaine Thompson, who clocked a personal best of 21.66sec.

It was a remarkable win for Schippers, 23, who eclipsed the European record of 21.71sec set by Marita Koch in 1979 and matched by fellow East German Heike Drechsler in 1986. Only Americans Marion Jones and world record-holder Florence Griffith-Joyner have run the 200m faster than Schippers, who won the heptathlon bronze at the Moscow edition two years ago.

Two-time Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown, who won the world title in 2011, claimed bronze in 21.97sec at Beijing's Bird's Nest stadium.

With Thompson on her inside, Schippers was chasing shadows coming off the bend in Lane 6.

Realising the Jamaican was marginally ahead of her, the Dutch athlete plugged away down the final straight. Schippers caught the Jamaican and produced a savage dip at the line for her victory before celebrating with family members in the stands.

In the next race, Sergey Shubenkov ran a Russian record to win 110m hurdles gold, storming down the track in 12.98sec.

Hansle Parchment of Jamaica was second in 13.03sec and Olympic champion Aries Merritt claimed the bronze in 13.04sec.

Defending champion David Oliver of the United States hit three of his first four hurdles and finished seventh in 13.33sec.

Shubenkov's victory provided some good news for Russia, with compatriot Alexander Yargunkin ruled out of today's 50km after failing a drugs test.

Russian media reported that the 33-year-old returned a positive test for the banned substance Erythropoietin and has been temporarily suspended from competition while investigations take place.

This will be the first World Championships in which no Russian walkers will take part.

In the women's 20km walk yesterday, world record holder Liu Hong gave hosts China a first gold medal of this meet. The title favourite broke clear of the field early on with compatriot Lu Xiuzhi.

She won in 1hr 27.45min, with Lu right behind her.

A more famous Chinese, however, is arguably Song Tao, who works for host broadcaster CCTV.

The cameraman, who toppled Usain Bolt during his victory lap following his 200m win over Justin Gatlin on Thursday, was on the other side of the cameras yesterday.

Back at work and ready to film the medal ceremonies, Song revealed he had apologised to the superstar after the incident.

The pair shook hands before Bolt's medal ceremony amid smiles all round. Song appeared to give Bolt a good luck charm to wear around his wrist.

"The important thing is that he is OK. I'm fine and ready to get back to work," Song said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS, THE GUARDIAN

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 29, 2015, with the headline 'LUNGE CLINCHES SCHIPPERS' GOLD'. Print Edition | Subscribe