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Olympic round up: Martinetti out after two defeats

Martinetti (left) feels the squeeze in Sydney Keystone

Swiss wrestler Grégory Martinetti has made a disappointing exit from the Sydney Games, losing both his qualifying bouts in the under 85 kilogram freestyle class.

Twenty-four hours after losing to Senegal’s Alioune Diouf, the 28-year-old lawyer from Martigny was soundly beaten by America’s Charles Burton. With his two defeats Martinetti was the only Swiss wrestler to leave the Games without a single victory.

The Martinetti family can point to an impressive Olympic tradition. Grégory’s father and two of his uncles have all represented Switzerland on the Olympic wrestling mat. But on Saturday Gregory Martinetti’s fine heritage counted for nothing.

“After three and a half minutes I was 6-0 down,” Martinetti recalled. “Against such a strong opponent the fight was effectively over.”

Switzerland was no more successful in the day’s cycling events, with Alex Zülle and Nicole Brändli well off the pace in the time trials. The men’s event was won by Russia’s Viatcheslav Ekimov who was almost five minutes quicker than Zülle.

In the women’s even Brändli was overtaken for the first time in her time trial career, finishing more than three minutes behind eventual winner Leontien Zijlaard. The Dutch rider has now won three gold medals and one silver in Sydney, equalling the tally of her swimming compatriot Inge de Bruijn.

No such glory though for Brändli who was bitterly disappointed with herself after the race. “I’ve never put in such a terrible performance”, she said. “It would have been better just to quit the race.”

Switzerland’s Daniel Ramseier was also unable to find his rhythm in the final event of the Olympic dressage tournament. The former team silver medallist finished in 13th position after twice missing the beat in the freestyle to music discipline.

Among all the disappointments Switzerland’s sailors at least made a strong finish on the last day of competition. In the Finn class, Peter Theurer managed to finish fourth in his penultimate fleet race.

The achievement marked Theurer’s second fourth place finish in the series, but he was unable to complete a hat trick. The man from Biel had to settle for 18th in his final race of the Games, also finishing 18th in the overall rankings.

In the Star boats, Flavio and Renato Marazzi enjoyed their second best performance of the week, finishing their last race in fifth position. They too have struggled in the overall rankings, though, and ended the Games 15th with only the Argentinian boat behind them.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR