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Golden finish for Swiss Paralympians

Swiss marathon gold winner Franz Nietlispach


Switzerland's athletes have made a fine finish to the Sydney Paralympics, with Franz Nietlispach taking the gold and Heinz Frei the bronze in the wheelchair marathon, the games' last event.

The pair are fierce rivals in both domestic and international competition. Nietlispach finished with a time of 1:24:55, followed by silver medallist, South Africa's Krige Schabort, on 1:29:28; Frei was one second behind.

Their Swiss teammates Guido Müller and Daniel Bögli finished the race placed twenty-fifth and thirty-ninth respectively.

The Paralmypics have been a relative success for the Swiss: the team finished in twentieth place in the medal rankings, with eight golds, four silvers and eight bronzes. The hosts, Australia, topped the table with 149 medals.

Although the Swiss total failed to match the country's all-time high of 50 medals at the 1984 games, and was one less than the total in Atlanta in 1996, it still exceeded expectations. The team had been aiming to come home from Sydney with around 16 medals.

swissinfo with agencies

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