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Biathlete Koukalová to be absent from Olympic Games

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Prague, Jan 12 (CTK) – Czech biathlete Gabriela Koukalova, 28, will not participate in the forthcoming Winter Olympics to take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea, from February 9 to 25, Jiri Hamza, the head of the Czech Biathlon Association, told journalists on Friday.

Koukalova, a gold medalist from the 2017 world championship and a former World Cup winner, has suffered from troubles with calf muscles due to the Achilles tendon overload since last summer.

This is why she has not started in any competition this year yet.

The situation is not better even one month before the start of the games.

“Her current health condition does not allow her preparation with the full burden,” Hamza said.

“Her problems survive. This is why we have agreed that she will skip this season. The decision was not easy,” he added.

He said he, Koukalova and chief coach Ondrej Rybar had discussed all options.

“Given our ambitions, I am sorry at the situation, but health must be preferred. Gabriela will now be treated with the doctor Pavel Kolar and she will not race in this season,” Hamza said.

Last month, Koukalova had an individual preparation.

“I tried my best to return. However, it was not according to my ideas in the training. I am awfully sorry because the Olympic Games are the ultimate aim for each athlete,” Koukalova said in her statement.

Koukalova who won two Olympic silver medals at the 2014 Sochi Games.

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