Zurich gymnast Dieter Rehm has announced that he is to retire at the end of this month, bringing an end to one of Switzerland's most successful gymnastic careers.
The 26-year-old vaulting specialist won silver and bronze medals at the 1996 and 1998 European Championships, as well as a bronze at the World Championships in 1999.
Rehm was fundamental in ensuring that Swiss gymnastics did not slip back into obscurity following the retirement of Chinese-born Olympic gold medallist Donghua Li in 1996.
At this year's Olympic Games, Rehm reached the final in both the vault and the horizontal bar, despite being hampered by a foot injury. It was an achievement which no Swiss-born gymnast had managed in decades, with the exception of the boycott Games of 1984.
Although the foot injury kept Rehm well out of medal contention, he said that Sydney had been his professional highpoint. "I have achieved more in my career than I ever expected," he added. "That is why there can be no better time to announce my retirement."
Rehm will wrap up his career with three more tournaments. Following the Swiss Cup on November 19, he will take part in the Arthur-Gander-Memorial in Chiasso, before making his farewell appearance at the World Cup tournament in Stuttgart at the end of the month.
swissinfo with agencies