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Swiss athlete strikes gold at Sydney Paralympics

Swiss Paralympic athlete, Urs Kolly, shows off his gold medal Keystone

Urs Kolly won Switzerland's first gold medal at the Sydney Paralympics on Sunday. He has also set a new record in the long jump event.

On the fourth day of the Paralympics, Kolly brought home the gold in the long jump (amputee division) competition. In front of 40,000 spectators, he also set a new Paralympic record by jumping 6.19 metres.

Kolly’s latest achievement marks his fourth Paralympic gold medal. He struck gold once at the 1992 Barcelona Paralympics in the discus throwing competition and won two medals at the 1996 Atlanta games in the long jump and pentathlon.

Kolly said he was surprised at his performance, citing health problems last spring which caused him to interrupt his training. “I didn’t think I was in shape enough to win at Sydney,” he said.

On Saturday, Switzerland took home three more medals. In the 10,000 metres wheelchair track race, Franz Nietlispach took the silver medal while his compatriot, Heinz Frei, won the bronze. In the women’s 800 metres track final, Switzerland’s Ursina Greuter also took a bronze medal.

So far, the Swiss have won four gold medals, one silver and four bronzes at the Sydney Paralympics, which opened on Wednesday.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR