The Swiss team at the Olympic games in Sydney has lost another member. The 400 metres runner, Mathias Rusterholz, tore a tendon in his ankle during a training session in Australia.
The 29 year-old sustained the injury on Tuesday at the team's camp at Runaway Bay in Queensland. Rusterholz may be able to avoid having an operation, but he has definitely been excluded from participating in the games.
His injury leaves the 4x400 metres relay team severely weakened. It lost Marcel Schelbert to injury at the athletics meeting in Brussels earlier this month.
The team will now be made up of Nicolas Bäriswyl, André Bucher, Laurent Clerc and Alain Rohr. It has one more substitute it can call on if one of them is injured: the decathlete, Philipp Huber.
There was further bad news for Switzerland's medal hopes when the gymnast, Dieter Rehm, injured his left foot coming out of a triple somersault in training on Wednesday. His trainer, Sandor Kiraly, said he expected Rehm to be able to compete, although there is little time: the qualifying round is on the first day of competition at the Olympics, on Saturday.
Kiraly said he was not worried. "Dieter needs this kind of thing a little. It makes him aggressive - that was immediately evident in the exercises he did after the injury."
Rehm won a bronze medal at the European Championships in St Petersburg in 1998, despite suffering from Achilles tendon problems. And he became the first Swiss-born gymnast in 40 years to pick up a medal at the World Championships in Beijing last year, although he had a sprained toe.
swissinfo with agencies
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