Botched relay adds to Dafne Schippers’ Rio 2016 Olympics misery

The mix-up at the first changeover denied the Netherlands a chance to qualify for the 4x100m women's relay final.

By: Reuters | Rio De Janeiro | Published:August 19, 2016 3:31 am
Rio 2016 Olympics, v news, Rio 2016 Olympics updates, Rio 2016 Olympics schedule, Dafne Schippers, sports news, sports Dafne Schippers bagged silver medal. (Source: AP)

Dafne Schippers’ Olympic disappointment turned into a nightmare on Thursday as she took responsibility for a botched relay handover that cost her a chance for redemption at the Rio Games.

The mix-up at the first changeover denied the Netherlands a chance to qualify for the 4x100m women’s relay final and give Schippers a chance of a consolation medal after she failed in her bid for a 100 and 200m golden double.

Schippers went too early as she waited for the baton from Jamile Samuel and had to slow down to an almost standing position before the changeover, leaving the European champions well out of contention early in their heat.

“It was my fault. I thought it was Jamile coming up on me and when I looked again it wasn’t Jamile at all,” Schippers told Dutch television.

“We then lost a lot of time and therefore I have to take the blame. I did everything to try and close the gap but unfortunately this is the Olympics, you don’t fix a mistake like that easily.”

It brings to a bitter end a disappointing Games for the 24-year-old, who had high hopes of emulating the feat of compatriot Fanny Blankers-Koen who won the sprint double in London in 1948.

The Dutch had also been confident of a relay medal, among the favourites with the United States and Jamaica to finish on the podium.

Schippers finished fifth in the 100m final, saying afterwards she had been struggling with injury in the build-up to the race.

Despite posting the fastest semi-final time in the 200m, in which she was reigning world champion, she only picked up a silver in Wednesday’s final.

“I didn’t sleep at all last night at all, going over everything again and again. Maybe I wasn’t 100 percent fresh for today. I’ve got hugely mixed feelings,” she added.

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  1. D
    Drew Davis
    Aug 19, 2016 at 4:27 pm
    It's troubling that anyone getting a silver medal at the Olympics can be seen as a let-down. At that level, minute differences in health, freshness and execution can mean the difference between meng or not. Taking a silver medal is still a huge accomplishment, and it's a bit baffling that such an elite athlete can be made to feel crushed because she didn't beat everyone in the world this one time. Dafne still has the best time in the world among current female compeors in this event. There's just something not right when coming 2nd in the world in one race counts as nothing because of over-inflated expectations.
    Reply