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Fankhauser takes wrestling title

Eveline Fankhauser (right) wrestling her way to the title. Keystone / Sigi Tischler

The 21-year-old, Eveline Fankhauser, has become the new Swiss women's champion in the traditional sport of "schwingen", a form of wrestling, which takes place on sawdust.

This content was published on August 15, 2000 - 11:15

Unlike the men's contest, the national title is not awarded at a single event but is based on performance throughout the season. Fankhauser, a nurse from Interlaken in canton Berne, took the title after winning four out of five contests over the past few weeks.

She is only the fourth-ever women's champion, although schwingen has been played by men in Switzerland for centuries.

Competitors wear short leather trousers and start a bout of wrestling by taking hold of their opponent's trousers with both hands. The aim is to throw the opponent to the ground, but to win the thrower must pin the opponent's shoulders to the floor.

In a competition, a wrestler is eliminated after being thrown twice. Each competitor wrestles every other, the winner being the "schwinger" who has made the most throws.

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