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Swiss rowing teams on course for medals

The Swiss men's team on their way to the final of the quadruple sculls Keystone

Swiss rowers enjoyed another successful day at the Sydney Olympics on Friday, qualifying for three more finals. A women's team also got through to a final for the first time.

Pia Vogel and Kim Plugge came third in their lightweight double sculls semi-final. Vogel said the pair had a real chance of a medal in the final.

However she conceded that they would have to beat the United States and Holland, both of which finished ahead of the Swiss pair in their semi-final heat.

Switzerland’s men’s quadruple sculls team – made up of Michael Erdlen, Christian Stofer, Simon Stürm and André Vornarburg – came in third in their semi-final heat, behind world champions Germany and Australia.

Defending Olympic champions, Markus and Michael Gier, had a harder than expected row into the final of the lightweight double sculls tournament.

After 1500 metres, the brothers found themselves in fourth placed but powered their way through to finish second behind Poland.

Friday’s results represent a remarkable achievement for the Swiss Rowing Association. Switzerland has never had four boats in Olympic finals since world championships were established in 1962.

At the Atlanta Olympics four years ago, the Swiss had three boats in the final.

Defending Olympic champion, Xeno Müller, won through his single sculls semi-final on Thursday to set up a clash on Saturday against his main rival, Rob Waddell of New Zealand.

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