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Best ever Bucher

Bucher celebrates a new Swiss record as he crosses the finishing line in Monte Carlo

(Keystone)

Swiss athletics star André Bucher has again set the fastest time in the world this year to win his third Golden League race of the year in Monte Carlo.

Bucher won the race in a time of 1:42.90, setting a new Swiss record in the process. The previous Swiss record in the 800m, set by none other than Bucher himself in 1999, stood at 1:42.92.

Russian Yuri Bosakovski came in second on 1:43.17, while Jean-Patrick Nduwimana, who hails from Burundi, finished third on 1:43.57.

The Lucerne runner remains unbeaten in the Golden League this season, although he chose not to attend the last meeting in Oslo, preferring to devote his time to high altitude training in St Moritz.

In the last serious test before next month's World Athletics Championships in Edmonton, Bucher proved he has what it takes to be a strong medal contender in Canada.

"I really couldn't have hoped for a better start to my preparations for the World Championships," Bucher said after the race.

"Right now, I'm feeling on top form," he added.

The Swiss Olympian's latest victory also ensures he is still in the running for a possible share of the Golden League jackpot, which is divided among any athletes who manage to win a particular event at five of the seven meetings.

Swiss compatriot Sabine Fischer had less to celebrate at the Monte Carlo meeting, after finishing the women's 1500m race well behind the leaders in ninth place.

Fischer's finishing time of 4:07.51 was over eight seconds off the 1500m winner, Romania's Violeta Szekely, who won the race with a time of 3:59.35. Russia's Natalya Gorelova came in second, while the American athlete, Suzy Favor-Hamilton, finished the race in third place.

Fischer, who is currently nursing a stress fracture in her left foot, has yet to make a final decision on whether she will compete in Edmonton.

"I'm not unhappy with my peformance," Fischer commented at the end of the tournament, "but I really would like to try and get my time under 4:05".

"I kept with the leaders for the first 800 metres, but the last 80 metres were really tough".

The Golden League athletics circuit now takes a break until after the world championships - resuming with Zurich's Weltklasse tournament on August 17th.

swissinfo with agencies


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