Dutch sprinter Inge Dekker won’t compete at the 2016 European Championships as she is still recovering from a surgery related to her bout with cervical cancer.
Dutch news site NOS.nl reports that Dekker will not compete at Euros, which start on May 16. She is eight weeks removed from major surgery and is still both recovering and catching up from the training she missed. Dekker said the decision to skip the European Championships is designed to have her in top form by the Rio Olympics in August.
“The priority is to be in top form during the Olympic Games. To achieve that, optimum training is more important than participating in competitions,” she said in the NOS.nl piece, roughly translated to English.
Dekker was diagnosed with cervical cancer earlier this year. She underwent surgery in late March and immediately started the recovery process with an eye on returning to high-level competition. At the time, she said her goal was still to compete at the Rio Olympics, though she admitted that was an ambitious goal.
Dekker is already a three-time Olympian for the Netherlands, competing in Athens in 2004, Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012. She’s won three medals – a bronze in Athens, a gold in Beijing and a silver in London. All three came through the 4×100 free relay, an event where the Dutch could again be in medal contention with a healthy roster.