20 May 2016 Schippers Raring To Take On 100M in Manchester Manchester

The Co-op Bank Great CityGames Manchester starts at 4.45pm and is free to attend on Deansgate and Albert Square. No ticket is necessary. The event will be televised on BBC Two from 6pm

DAFNE SCHIPPERS is looking forward to bringing world-class athletics to street level tonight as the Co-op Bank Great CityGames comes to Manchester.

Schippers takes on the 100m on the purpose-built track on Deansgate this evening, where spectators can watch elite athletics in a city centre environment.

The Flying Dutchwoman will represent Netherlands in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relays at the Olympic Games in the summer, and will continue her preparations for Rio on the track this evening.

Schippers is a big fan of street meetings and believes it can reach an audience who may not have watched track and field before.

“I like it,” she said. “It’s fun, it’s a nice competition to take part in. To see all the people who are shopping or whatever, watching athletics, track and field, it’s very important.

“The more people that get to watch our sport, the bigger it will get.”

Schippers will be in action against Cleo Vanburen, Tianna Bartolletta and Marika Popowicz, who are all aiming to compete in Rio this summer, but the European 100m and 200m champion fancies her chances against her rivals tonight.

“I always come here to win. If you don’t think you can win, you don’t win,” she said.

The former heptathlete came second in the long jump in Albert Square last year, but Schippers is concentrating fully on the 100m ahead of the Olympic Games, without distractions.

“The 100m is very nice. I like to run on the street here as it’s very cool, but 200m is different. I did 150m last year. It feels longer and it is very difficult to do without the curve, so I’m looking forward to the 100m, that’s long enough.

“I’ll think about doing the long jump next year but this year is important so I need to concentrate on the sprinting.”

Schippers considers herself a full-time sprinter now, adding: “I don’t miss the heptathlon. I focus on the sprints and that’s easy to think about, you don’t have to worry about other events. I get fewer injuries as well.

“It’s a different mindset, I go all over the world as a sprinter now, it’s a new world compared to the heptathlon.”

The Co-op Bank Great CityGames Manchester starts at 4.45pm and is free to attend on Deansgate and Albert Square. No ticket is necessary. The event will be televised on BBC Two from 6pm

Other News