2015 World 200 metres champion Dafne Schippers has admitted to having a cold relationship with Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson.
The Dutchwoman and the Jamaican share perhaps one of the fiercest rivalries in track and field and it has seemingly worked against them being friendly to each other.
The two sprinters now rated among the very best to run the sprints in the modern era have had stirring battles over the past two seasons but while they have been cordial, Schippers admits the relationship between the two has been frosty.
“It’s very bad,” Schippers says of their relationship. “I don’t know why. Maybe because we are both big talents. If she says ‘Hi’, I will say ‘Hi’. I am more of an easy person,” she said in an interview with the Daily Mail. “With the European athletes, I can have fun with them. I am an easy person to talk to. If she won’t do that, then OK.”
When Schippers won the world title in Beijing in 2015, she ran Thompson down to cross the line in 21.63, the third fastest time ever by a woman. Thompson was timed in 21.66, the fifth fastest time ever.
At the Olympic Games in Rio a year later, Thompson turned the tables on her Dutch rival, winning the Olympic 200m title in 21.78 seconds to Schippers 21.88. Thompson (10.71) also won the 100m, a race in which Schippers was fifth in 10.90.
The two are expected to meet next month in the final of the 100m at the IAAF World Championships in London where Elaine Thompson is the overwhelming favourite to claim her first 100m world title.