Dekker in Rio squad despite cancer op

AMSTERDAM • Swimmer Inge Dekker, who was diagnosed with cervical cancer in February and had surgery in March, will take part in her fourth Olympics after being named on Tuesday in a 17-strong Netherlands squad for next month's Rio Games.

The 30-year-old, who won a 4x100 metres freestyle relay gold in Beijing in 2008 as well as silver in 2012, missed the European Championships in London in May as she continued her recovery.

More than four swimmers are often included in relay teams, with reserves slotted in for the heats before the top four compete in the final.

Dekker was also down for the 50m freestyle and 100m butterfly.

The seven men in the squad, who will train in Sardinia before flying to Brazil, will be led by European 200m freestyle champion Sebastiaan Verschuren. Ten of the 17 are Olympic debutants.

"It's good to see the mix of experienced Olympic swimmers and young talents," said Dutch swimming managing director Jan Kossen.

Russian swimming star Yulia Efimova will also be at the Olympics, after the sport's world governing body Fina cleared her of all charges for using the banned drug meldonium.

"Yulia received a letter from Fina doping panel chairman Robert Fox, which said that all charges for meldonium use had been dismissed," her agent Andrei Mitkov said.

The 24-year-old was handed a provisional ban in March after testing positive for meldonium, the same medication that saw Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova banned.

Sergei Kolmogorov, the coach of the Russian swim team, confirmed that Efimova would be joining her team-mates in Brazil next month.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 14, 2016, with the headline 'Dekker in Rio squad despite cancer op'. Print Edition | Subscribe