Dafne Schippers and Sifan Hassan will not compete next year at the World Indoor Athletics Championships in Nanjing, China. The Dutch top athletes let the tournament go, because it does not fit in their schedule towards the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
"The tournament is a bit unfortunate and really has no priority in an Olympic year," says Bart Bennema, national coach of the sprint group at Papendal, against the AD on Friday.
Four years ago, a few months before the Games in Rio de Janeiro, Schippers sprinted for silver in the 60 meters at the World Championship indoor in Portland. "But we combined that trip with a long training camp in Florida at the time," explains Bennema.
"Now she doesn't have anything to look for. Her groin problems that were troubling her in Doha have gone, but we are still working hard on her back and that is why we want to build up gradually and well."
Schippers does intend to play in three other indoor games next year. Hassan will most likely skip the entire indoor season to focus on next summer's Games in Tokyo.
Sifan Hassan became world champion in the 1,500 and 10,000 meters this year. (Photo: Pro Shots)
Visser does come into action at the World Indoor Championship
Unlike Schippers and Hassan, Nadine Visser does participate in Nanjing. The athlete from Hoogkarspel captured gold at the European Indoor Championships this year at the 60 meter hurdles and last year won bronze at that number at the World Indoor Championships.
"Nadine is good at tournaments. We continue to train well and make sure she is at the start, but will further limit her indoor season," Bennema explains.
The World Indoor Championships in Nanjing, China will be on the program from 13 to 15 March next year. The Olympic Games in Tokyo start on July 24.