Switzerland's Alain Rohr is out of the 400m Hurdles competition in the Athletics World Championships in Edmonton, Canada. The 29-year-old from Bern failed to qualify in the first heat on Tuesday evening.
Rohr, who has been suffering from a long-standing back injury, put on a brave performance finishing the qualifying race in fourth place in 50.50 seconds, but it was not enough to secure him a place in the next heat.
Rohr's finish put him 30th out of 41 hurdlers, which meant he was six away from the qualifying 24. It was a disappointing blow for the Swiss athlete as third place would have secured him a place in the last 24, but he finished three hundredths of a second behind the third placed hurdler.
"As I was running I could feel my back," Rohr said after the race. "It made me lose my confidence. I've never felt so nervous as I did tonight on the starting blocks."
"I started the race too slowly," he added," I was too slow over the first four hurdles." But from the sixth hurdle onwards the Bern-based athlete put up a valiant fight finishing with a final sprint to secure fourth place in his heat.
However, six other hurdlers beat his time in the other qualifying heats leaving Rohr ranked 12th among the losers.
The race, which was run in the rain, proved to be a challenge to all the hurdlers with each one finishing more than a second over their personal bests.
Following Tuesday's qualifying heats one of the big names still in the picture is South Africa's Olympic and World Championship medal winner, Llewellyn Herbert, who finished in a time of 50.28 seconds.
swissinfo with agencies