Dutchwoman Dafne Schippers announces retirement at 31

ATHLETICS Dutchwoman Dafne Schippers announces retirement at 31

Abigael Wafula 18:51 - 26.09.2023

In a lengthy post on her Instagram page, Dafne Schippers announced that she was retiring from the track.

Dutchwoman Dafne Schippers always made headlines at the World Championships and Olympic Games over the years but her journey on the track has come to an end.

In a post on her Instagram handle, the two-time World champion announced her retirement at the age of 31.

In the lengthy post: she said: “The race stops here. As an athlete, you always know this day will come, that at one point, your career will be a moment in time—a collection of memories and hopefully medals.

"Today, I have decided to take my life off track to pursue and embrace whatever comes next, but not without saying a massive thank you for all the endless support. It has been a journey without regret.”

Schippers started off her career competing in combined events and she did well in them. She bagged the world and European U20 titles in the heptathlon and a bronze at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow.

She made her debut in the sprints at the World Athletics Championships in 2011 in the 200m when she was still a teenager and helped the Netherlands to a silver medal in the 4x100m at the 2012 European Athletics Championships.

The 31-year-old then shifted her focus fully to the sprints in 2014 and just months later, she won the 100 and 200m double at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich before showing her all-round ability by adding the 60m title to her resume at the 2015 European Athletics Indoor Championships.

In 2015, she won 100m silver behind Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and 200m gold at the World Championships in Beijing in a still-standing European record of 21.63.

After defending her 100m title on home soil at the 2016 European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam where she also helped the Dutch to gold in the 4x100m, Schippers could not quite add an Olympic title to her list of honours, settling for silver in the 200m behind five-time Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah from Jamaica in 2016.

Schippers went on to retain her world 200m title in London the following year before winning three more medals at the 2018 European Athletics Championships in Berlin and a silver medal in the 60m at the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships.

That medal proved to be the last medal of her prolific and illustrious career before persistent back problems blighted her last few seasons, leaving her short of form at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and forcing her to miss the 2022 European Athletics Championships in Munich.