Before a cheering home crowd, Karel Novy lived up to the expectations of the people of the town of Vevey, and nabbed the 200 metre freestyle title at the Swiss Swimming Championships on Lake Geneva.
Novy edged Gerry Strasser for the gold medal with a time of 1'43"89. After the race he admitted he had felt the pressure of having to do his best before his Vevey Natation club-members, but said he was most satisfied with his performance.
"I feel that in a way this represents the culmination of my preparations for the Sydney Olympics, which I started four years ago. I am training a lot, and I really feel like swimming. Of course, it is also very tiring," he said. There was, however, no fatigue on display on Friday, with Novy adding a 50-meter backstroke silver medal to his 200 meter gold one.
European bronze medallist in Helsinki, Remo Lütolf, who was widely expected to take the 100-meter breaststroke title, only managed to place third at the national championships. Taking top-spot on the podium in that event was Lorenz Liechti, who - like Lütolf - swims for SC Uster. Liechti had already won the 50-meter butterfly and the 200-meter breaststroke.
In the 200 meter butterfly, Adrian Andermatt (also SC Uster) missed out on the Swiss national record by seven hundredths of a second, finishing in 2'02"52.
Philip Gilgen and Agata Czaplicki continued in their winning ways, in Vevey. Gilgen triumphed in the 50 meters backstroke - having already taken the 100-meter backstroke - while on the ladies' front, Czaplicki eased to victory in the 100-meter breaststroke.
The 16-year-old Ticinese sensation had won the 200-meter breaststroke on Thursday. She will be the youngest member of the Swiss swimming squad competing in Sydney.
swissinfo with agencies
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