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21/01/2021 16:00
Dutch track & field stars enjoy Volleyball as they prepare for Tokyo Olympics
News from the National Federations

Utrecht, Netherlands, January 21, 2021. Volleyball is an activity for all – even for elite athletes from other sports. This applies to superstars from the Dutch track and field national team such as two-time 200 m world champion and Olympic silver medallist Dafne Schippers, who was among a group of athletes enjoying Volleyball practice this past December during a training camp.

Like many other countries around the globe, the Netherlands have implemented strict lockdown measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. This past December, elite athletes from the Dutch Athletics Union (Atletiekunie) chose to add Volleyball to their routines and activities while working at the national training centre located in Papendal, just outside the city of Arnhem.

Through the cooperation developed with the Dutch Volleyball Federation (Nevobo), the Dutch sprinters worked under the guidance of renowned Volleyball coach Arnold van Ree, doing so for four Fridays in a row. They all enjoyed the experience very much, with superstar Schippers admitting that she hopes Volleyball practice will resume in March.

Churandy Martina, a four-time Olympian and Dutch record holder over all sprint disciplines, recalled that he used to play Volleyball in his youth back home in the Antilles – where he was even the captain of a local team in Curacao. Schippers, on the other hand, admitted she found it a bit challenging at the beginning to coordinate her jumping ability with the actual hitting of the ball – and yet as you can see from the video below, she definitely had a lot of fun.

Both Schippers and Martina are due to represent the Netherlands at the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics later this year. A four-time European champion, Schippers is the 200 m European record holder with a personal best time of 21.63, which makes her the third fastest woman ever over the distance behind Florence Griffith-Joyner and Marion Jones of the USA.

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