By Sam Watson
PHILLIP Island surfing superstar Nikki van Dijk recently withdrew from the World Surf League’s most recent event, the Corona Open in Mexico.
The 26-year-old is currently nursing a hamstring injury and decided it wouldn’t be suitable to make the trip to Barra de la Cruz.
Explaining the decision to her fans on Instagram, Van Dijk said she must “put (her) body and health first”.
She also thanked the Victorian Institute of Sport for the support they’ve given her in the rehab process.
Stephanie Gilmore, seven-time world champion and Van Dijk rival, won the event, knocking off Malia Manuel in the final.
Fellow Australian Jack Robinson won the men’s event, narrowly defeating Brazilian Deivid Silva in the final.
Van Dijk will finish the season in 13th place on the overall leaderboard, with her best result a fifth-place finish at the Rip Curl Rottnest Search in May.
Her other five finishes have all been in ninth, showing she is clearly struggling to get past round 16.
That means she will not automatically have a spot on the championship tour in 2022, she will have to wait to see if she is given entry through a wildcard spot.
The Rip Curl WSL Finals in San Clemente, California is the only event left on the 2021 world championship tour, but it is for the top five ranked surfers alone.
The massive event will start on September 9.