LONDON — Dafne Schippers finished second in her heat of the women’s 100 metres at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London on Saturday, but the Dutch sprinter wasn’t necessarily concerned about the early round defeat.
Schippers, one of the leading contenders to win the gold medal in London, clocked 11.08 seconds to finish behind Ivory Coast’s Marie-Jose Ta Lou, who posted a time of 11.00secs to win the heat.
The 2015 World Championships 200m champion revealed that she has been working on her start and there were signs of improvement on Saturday.
After bursting from the blocks and racing into the lead, Schippers was caught by Ta Lou in the closing metres.
However, the 25-year-old wasn’t wasting too much energy on her championship opener as she remained focused on improving on her fifth-place finish in the Olympic 100m final last year.
“It’s the first round so you just want to get it done,” said Schippers. “I’ve been working on my starts and that one was okay.
“My body is feeling good at the moment and I am not tired.”
Schippers will line up in semi-final heat 1 of the 100m on Sunday where she will face-off with Ta Lou once again.
Also listed in the starting line up for that semis are Kelly-Ann Baptiste of Trinidad and Tobago, Deajah Stevens of USA and Great Britain’s Daryll Neita.
“I am excited for the semi-finals tomorrow (Sunday),” Schippers added. “It’s a good start for now.”
Meanwhile, Schippers bitter rival Elaine Thompson of Jamaica was quite impressive when winning her heat on Saturday.
The Olympic 100m and 200m sprint double champion from Rio 2016, made light of the wet and overcast conditions to win her heat in 11.05 seconds.
Thompson paced away to grab the lead from the start before coasting home unchallenged.
American Rio Olympic silver medallist, Tori Bowie, also secured a place in the semis after winning her heat in 11.05secs.