The clash between Dafne Schippers and Elaine Thompson in the 200m at the ExxonMobil Bislett Games on 9 June has become one of the most intriguing clashes of the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Oslo.
Schippers won the sprint double at the 2014 European Championships and last year won the world 200m title in Beijing with a European record of 21.63, making her the third-fastest woman in history. The former heptathlete ended the season by winning the Diamond Race in her new specialist event.
The 23-year-old has continued her brilliant form this year, claiming the 60m silver medal at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Portland 2016 in March and more recently clocking season’s bests of 10.83 and 22.02 in the 100m and 200m respectively.
But the Dutch superstar is expected to be pushed all the way by the woman who led for most of the 200m final at last year’s World Championships, Elaine Thompson.
The Jamaican first emerged on the international scene last year. After clocking a PB of 10.84 earlier in the season, she went on to take the silver medal over 200m in Beijing with a time of 21.66, taking her to fifth place on the world all-time list.
Schippers and Thompson 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 small as just two hundredths of a second separated them.
Although Schippers has won all five of their encounters to date, the margins between the pair have ranged from 0.03 to just 0.14.
The margins between these high class athletes has been miniscule and this competition in Bislett stadium will be the first time since Beijing last year, that they have squared off over 200m. Both are clearly in supreme shape and a winning time under 22 seconds will surprise nobody.