Switzerland will send a delegation of 105 athletes to the Olympic Games in Brazil next month, its largest in the past 20 years. The national committee Swiss Olympic hopes to secure at least five medals.
“We are leaving for Rio with very ambitious athletes,” Ralph Stöckli, head of Swiss Olympic, told reporters on July 26.
In total, 105 athletes will be making the trip to Brazil this summer for the Summer Games from August 5-21, the biggest Swiss Olympic delegation since the Atlanta Games in 1996 when 115 attended.
Switzerland hopes to improve on its London 2012 Games haul of four medals (two gold and two silver).
Stöckli said there was real potential in the rowing, road cycling, fencing, gymnastics, horse riding, tennis and mountain bike disciplines.
Several Swiss medal-winners from 2012, such as Nicola Spirig (triathlon), Steve Guerdat (show jumping) and Nino Schurter (mountain biking) will be hoping to add to their collection.
Lucas Tramèr (rowing), Jolanda Neff (mountain biking and road cycling) and Max Heinzer (fencing) are also optimistic of a podium place in Rio. A medal is also within reach of gymnast Giulia Steingruber and the fencing team, as well as pole vaulter Nicole Büchler and cyclist Fabian Cancellara.
The youngest is 18-year-old golfer Albane Valenzuela and the oldest 53-year-old equestrian Paul Estermann.
More female athletes will be travelling to Rio (43% of the total) than to the London Games (30%) with a strong contingent in athletics disciplines. Almost three-quarters will be taking part in their first Olympics, while Cancellara will be enjoying his fifth Games.
A total of 21 Swiss athletes (see box) will also be taking part in seven disciplines in the Rio 2016 Paralympics, held from September 7-18.
Athletics and paracycling are traditional strengths for Switzerland’s disabled athletes. Indeed, 14 of the 21 competitors going to Rio are in these two events.
[Note: this article has been updated following the news that four tennis players - Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka, Belinda Bencic and Viktorija Golubic - will not travel to Rio.]
The 105 Swiss athletes going to Rio:
Athletics (17): Sarah Atcho, Tadesse Abraham, Selina Büchel, Nicole Büchler, Ajla Del Ponte, Petra Fontanive, Kariem Hussein, Mujinga Kambundji, Salomé Kora, Christian Kreienbühl, Marisa Lavanchy, Maja Neuenschwander, Angelica Moser, Clélia Rard-Reuse, Fabienne Schlumpf, Ellen Sprunger, Lea Sprunger.
Badminton (1): Sabrina Jaquet.
Rowing (11): Mario Gyr, Simon Niepmann, Simon Schürch, Lucas Tramèr, Jeannine Gmelin, Michael Schmid, David Wiederkehr, Barnabé Delarze, Augustin Maillefer, Roman Röösli, Nico Stahlberg. Substitutes (3): Markus Kessler, Fiorin Rüedi, Joël Schürch.
Beach volleyball (4): Isabelle Forrer, Joana Heidrich, Anouk Vergé-Dépré, Nadine Zumkehr.
Fencing (5): Peer Borsky, Tiffany Géroudet, Max Heinzer, Fabian Kauter, Benjamin Steffen.
Canoe (3): Lukas Werro, Simon Werro, Fabio Wyss.
Golf (2): Fabienne In-Albon, Albane Valenzuela.
Cycling (12): Track: Olivier Beer, Silvan Dillier, Frank Pasche, Théry Schir, Gaël Suter, Cyrille Thièry. BMX: David Graf. Road: Michael Albasini, Fabian Cancellara, Steve Morabito, Jolanda Neff, Sébastien Reichenbach.
Judo (3): Ludovic Chammartin, Ciril Grossklaus, Evelyne Tschopp.
Mountain biking (5): Mathias Flückiger, Lars Forster, Linda Indergand, Jolanda Neff, Nino Schurter.
Gymnastics (6): Christian Baumann, Pablo Brägger, Benjamin Gischard, Oliver Hegi, Giulia Steingruber, Eddy Yusof.
Horse riding (8): Dressage: Marcela Krinke Susmelj. Eventing: Ben Vogg, Felix Vogg. Jumping: Romain Duguet, Paul Estermann, Martin Fuchs, Steve Guerdat, Janika Sprunger.
Swimming (8): Jérémy Desplanches, Noémie Girardet, Alexandre Haldemann, Yannick Käser, Sasha Touretski, Maria Ugolkova, Martina van Berkel, Danielle Villars.
Synchronised swimming (2): Sascia Kraus, Sophie Giger.
Tennis (2): Timea Bacsinszky, Martina Hingis.
Shooting (4): Nina Christen, Heidi Diethelm Gerber, Sarah Hornung, Jan Lochbihler.
Triathlon (4): Jolanda Annen, Sven Riederer, Andrea Salvisberg, Nicola Spirig.
Sailing (9): Yannik Brauchli, Nathalie Brugger, Matias Bühler, Lucien Cujean, Linda Fahrni, Mateo Sanz Lanz, Romuald Hausser, Sébastien Schneiter, Maja Siegenthaler.
The 21 Paralympians:
Archery (2): Martin Imboden, Magali Comte.
Athletics (8): Beat Bösch, Catherine Debrunner, Philipp Handler, Sandra Graf, Marcel Hug, Bojan Mitic, Abassia Rahmani, Manuela Schär.
Paracycling (6): Roger Bolliger, Tobias Fankhauser, Heinz Frei, Sandra Graf, Sandra Stöckli, Lukas Weber.
Horse riding (2): Dressage: Nicole Geiger, Celine van Till.
Shooting (2): Nicole Häusler, Paul Schnider.
Swimming (1): Carla De Bortoli.
Table tennis (1): Silvio Keller.
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