Rigamonti pips rival Strasser to the post

Rigamonti (left) and Strasser (right) make a diving start to the 400 metres freestyle final Keystone

Switzerland's top swimmers have begun competing in the national championships in Vevey. For those who have qualified for next month's Olympics, the tournament marks an important chance to test their preparations for Sydney.

This content was published on August 3, 2000 minutes

All nine members of the Swiss swimming squad for the games will be at the 50-metre pool in Vevey-Corseaux for the event, which runs from Thursday until Sunday.

Fans are paying particular attention to the performances of Flavia Rigamonti, Chantal Strasser and Remo Lütolf - seen as three of Switzerland's best hopes for Olympic glory.

In the women's 400 metres freestyle final, it was Rigamonti who pipped Strasser to the post, taking first place with a time of 4:14.09, a new Swiss record. Strasser followed in second place with 4:15.83.

Both swimmers are hoping to build on their success in last month's European Championships. The Helsinki tournament saw Rigamonti take gold in the 800 metres freestyle, with Strasser winning silver in the same race.

Rigamonti and Strasser will continue their friendly rivalry in Sydney in the 400 metres discipline, while Lütolf is also a member of the Swiss 4x100 metres medley relay team.

The entire relay team are in Vevey, taking the opportunity to test their preparations in a competitive arena. Along with Lütolf, the team comprises Philippe Meyer, Philippe Gilgen and Karel Novy.

Novy has also qualified as an individual for Sydney in the 100 metres freestyle, as has Yves Platel (400 metres medley), Christoph Bühler (50 metres freestyle) and Agata Czaplicki (200 metres breaststroke). With no less than nine Olympians taking part, the tournament in Vevey can genuinely point to a line-up of potential world stars.

swissinfo with agencies

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