Dutch national record holder Moniek Nijhuis has announced her retirement from competitive swimming. The 28-year-old breaststroke specialist retires as her nation’s current record holder in the 50 and 100 breaststrokes in long course, as well as the 50, 100 and 200 breaststroke events in short course.
Nijhuis was disappointed with her result at the 2015 FINA World Championships, where the once European Champion fell short of finals in both the 50 and 100 breaststroke races. She wound up 9th in the former and 26th in the latter. She had been training with Lithuanian Olympian Ruta Meilutyte under Jon Rudd at Plymouth Leander in England since October 2015, but ran into a string of health issues that ultimately put her off course for Rio. This included a bout with the flu, which left her out of the Eindhoven Cup and off the 2016 European Championships roster.
Nevertheless, Nijhuis’ impact on Dutch swimming remains intact, as the Overdinkel-born swimmer scored her first major international medal at the senior level when she was just 16 years of age. That medal was gold as a member of her nation’s 200 medley relay at the 2004 European Short Course Championships.
More recently while competing at the 2014 FINA Short Course World Championships in Doha, Nijhuis clinched bronze medal finishes in both the 50 and 100 SCM breaststroke races. At the 2015 European Short Course Championships, Nijhuis claimed silver in the 100m breaststroke, while also scoring gold on the Dutch medley relay team.
Missing the Rio Olympic team dealt Nijhuis a big blow where the swimmer says, “you must be honest with yourself and determine a new course.”
Of her decision to retire, Nijhuis says, “I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished and very grateful for all the wonderful experiences that swimming has brought me. I will continue to cherish. My gratitude is great to my family and friends, trainers, fellow swimmers, sponsors and all others who have contributed to my performance. ”