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Rigamonti fifth in Japan

Rigamonti was unable to win a medal

(Keystone)

Ticino's Flavia Rigamonti has finished fifth in the women's 800 metres freestyle final at the world championships in Fukuoka, Japan.

The 20-year-old Swiss swimmer, who finished fourth at last year's Sydney Olympics, never looked likely to win the race following an early breakaway from Germany's Hannah Stockbauer and America's Diana Munz.

Swimming in an outside lane, Rigamonti put up an unexpectedly strong fight for the bronze though, joining in a three-way tussle with America's Kaitlin Sandeno and China's Chen Hua.

Sandeno held on though to take bronze behind Stockbauer and Munz. Rigamonti's final time of 8'33"79 was more than six seconds faster than her performance in the heats, but almost seven seconds slower than the time she set in Sydney.

As the reigning European champion over 800 metres, and the only Swiss woman ever to have reached an Olympic final, Rigamonti is regarded as one of the country's most promising young swimmers.

Her preparations for Japan have been interrupted by her studies, though, with Rigamonti combining work on her high school certificate with a part-time training schedule.

Lütolf fails first test

Switzerland's Remo Lütolf was another swimming student whose homework appeared to have caught up with him on Monday.

The 21-year-old law student from St Gallen finished the 100 metre breaststroke heats just over a second too slow for a place in the semi-finals.

Lütolf's time of 1'03"56 was more than a second faster than that with which he clinched the Swiss national title in March, but it still saw him finish 1"04 behind the slowest of the top 16 swimmers.

Lütolf will be looking to do better on Saturday when he returns to action in his specialist event, the 50 metres breaststroke.

Diezi heights

There was better news for Switzerland on Monday in the women's 50 metres backstroke where Lütolf's Uster swimming club team-mate Dominique Diezi managed to qualify for the semi-finals after knocking 12 hundredths of a second off her own Swiss record.

In the semis, she then equalled that time to finish the event 13th overall. Diezi was denied a place in the final by just 26 hundredths of a second.

With more Swiss swimmers travelling to the world championships than ever before, the national association has set its sights on two finals places and eight new Swiss records.

swissinfo with agencies

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