August 15, 2016 12:41:28 am
Dafne Schippers blamed injury after the Dutchwoman finished a disappointing fifth in the Olympic 100 metres final on Saturday but refused to elaborate on her problems.
Schippers told Dutch media she had been suffering from a “physical problem over the last days” but refused to provide any details after finishing out of the medals in a race in which she was expected to challenge for gold.
Coach Bart Bennema said Schippers had picked up an injury in training.
“But we don’t want to say more to make her competitors aware,” he said. “I was glad she could make the start.”
Bennema said his charge had only been able to train without pain on the morning of the final.
“It was a physical discomfort that had no apparent cause. Her body has to endure a lot. It has never happened like this before and, at this time, is no good,” he added.
“But there is no reason for concern about the 200m.”
Schippers is favourite for the longer sprint distance after winning last year’s 200m world championship title.
The powerfully-built 24-year-old qualified comfortably through the 100m heats but was never in contention in the final as Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson stormed to victory to deny compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce a third straight title.
With it went Schippers’ hopes of emulating the feat of Fanny Blankers-Koen, who won the sprint double for the Netherlands at the London Games in 1948.
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