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Olympic medals


Swiss win tennis silver and gymnastics bronze in Rio


The pair were playing for the first time together in Rio (Keystone)

The pair were playing for the first time together in Rio

(Keystone)

Martina Hingis and Timea Bacsinszky are contenting themselves with taking home an Olympic silver for Switzerland after failing to win the Rio women’s doubles gold medal match.

They were beaten on Sunday by Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, 6-4 6-4.

The Swiss paired up after Switzerland’s original six-person squad started haemorrhaging players. Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka and then Belinda Bencic withdrew from the Games.

The partnership was seen as a good match of Hingis’s expertise and Bacsinszky's strength.

An Olympic medal was the one big win missing from Hingis’s trophy cabinet. Hingis, 35, who has played tennis since the age of two, started entering tournaments at the age of four. She holds five grand slam singles titles and 11 grand slam doubles titles. She came out of retirement in 2013 to play exclusively in doubles.

Bacsinszky, 27, who also began playing as a toddler, has been steadily moving up the rankings ever since turning pro in 2004. It’s her second Olympics. When the 2012 Olympics were on, she briefly considered ending her tennis career and heading to hotel school, before returning to the game. This year she won her fourth WTA title in Rabat.  

In the past, the only Olympic golds in tennis were won by Marc Rosset in 1992 and Federer and Wawrinka in 2008.

Gymnastic bronze

Later on Sunday, Swiss gymnast Giulia Steingruber won bronze in the vault. Simone Biles of the United States clinched gold ahead of world champion Maria Paseka of Russia. 

Steingruber, who carried the Swiss flag during the Olympic opening ceremony, thus becomes the first Swiss female gymnast to win an Olympic medal. The 19-year-old is the current European champion in all-around, vault and floor.

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