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Rigamonti takes silver at world championships

(Keystone)

Swiss swimmer Flavia Rigamonti has won a silver medal in the 1,500-metre freestyle at the world championships in Montreal, Canada.

The 24-year-old from the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino also set a Swiss record in a time of 16:04.34.

The race was won by 17-year-old Kate Ziegler of the United States, who was four seconds faster than the Swiss.

Rigamonti’s time beats the national record that she set at the world championships in Fukuoka, Japan, in 2001.

"I’m in pain but I’m very satisfied," said Rigamonti. "I never would have thought that the American lady would keep up her pace so much".

"That I managed to break the already four-year-old record shows that I was well prepared."

Ziegler’s victory shaved nearly 11 seconds off her previous best and was the third-fastest performance over the distance in history.

She set a fast pace which she maintained throughout the race. Rigamonti was in fifth place for much of the race but stepped up a gear after 950 metres.

Third place went to Canada’s Brittany Reimer.

Rigamonti’s medal is only the fourth for Switzerland in the history of the world championships. Besides her silver in 2001, the country won two medals 19 years ago – a silver in the 50-metre freestyle by Dano Halsall and Marie-Thérèse Armentero’s bronze also in the 50-metre freestyle.

swissinfo with agencies

In brief

Flavia Rigamonti was born in Breganzona in Ticino in 1981.

She started swimming at the age of ten and won her first title, the campionessa europea juniores in 1997.

She has won around a dozen medals in her swimming career at the 800-metre and 1,500-metre distances.

This includes gold at the European championships in Helsinki in 2000, silvers at the world championships in Fukuoka (2001) and Montreal (2005).

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