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Olympics: Rigamonti cruises into 800 metres final

Flavia Rigamonti on her way to the final in Sydney Keystone

One of Switzerland's Olympic medal hopefuls, Flavia Rigamonti, has won her way through to the final of the 800 metres freestyle swimming competition in Sydney.

This content was published on September 21, 2000 - 07:55

Rigamonti, the European champion, qualified for Friday's final by finishing fourth in her heat in 8:30.44 on Thursday.

Rigamonti, a 19-year-old from canton Ticino, came in behind the American favourite, Brooke Bennett, the Ukrainian Jana Klotschkova and another American swimmer, Kaitlin Sandeno.

After the race, Rigamonti said she was very pleased with her time, despite it being just over a second slower than her record.

She refused to be drawn on her medal chances. "It only brings bad luck to start talking of a medal" she said.

Another Swiss swimmer failed to live up to her pre-Olympics billing. Chantal Strasser, European silver medallist, failed to make it through to the 800 metres freestyle final.

She clocked a time of 8:35.84 - a total of four and a half seconds outside her best time. "My hopes of a place in the final were gone by the time we reached the 400 metre stage" she said.

Two other Swiss swimmers were also eliminated. Christophe Bühler came in well down the field in the 50 metres freestyle heats. His time of 23.15 seconds was six tenths of a second off the Swiss record.

Butterfly specialist, Philippe Meyer, also failed to come through the heats in the 100 metres butterfly competition.

swissinfo with agencies

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