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Olympics: Bucher fails to live up to hype

Bucher (second from right) falls behind on the final stretch Keystone

Switzerland's André Bucher has failed in his bid for Olympic glory. Tipped as one of the favourites to win gold in the men's 800 metres, the Lucerne runner was unable to take even the bronze after finishing the final in fifth place.

Bucher led for the first 400 metres but appeared to fade after jostling elbows with Italy’s Andrea Longo. On the final straight Bucher was overtaken by Germany’s Nils Schumann, Denmark’s Wilson Kipketer, Algeria’s Djabir Said-Guerni and South Africa’s Hezekiel Sepeng.

Schumann, the European 800 metres champion, who beat Bucher in the Olympic semi-finals, went on to take the gold, ahead of world record holder Kipketer and Said-Guerni.

The final few seconds of the race will have been a bitter disappointment to Bucher. While hopes had been high that the 24-year-old would win Switzerland’s first ever gold medal in athletics, he himself had only spoken publicly of his hopes of finishing in the top four.

Despite going into the race in possession of the year’s fastest time, even that modest ambition was beyond Bucher’s reach. With Schumann winning in 1’45″08, there was no danger of the Swiss runner’s record being beaten. That though will of course be of little comfort to Bucher.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR