Swiss brother-sister team Daniel and Eliane Hugentobler have announced their withdrawal from next week's world figure skating championships in Japan.This content was published on March 12, 2002 - 14:04
The pair said they had been forced to pull out because Eliane was suffering from a persistent viral infection.
With the Nagano championships marking the end of the figure skating year, Tuesday's announcement means the Hugentoblers are putting an early end to their season.
Despite its disappointing climax, the season has certainly been a memorable one for the siblings, who in January achieved Switzerland's best ice dance result at a European championships in almost 40 years when they finished ninth in Lausanne.
That performance was enough to earn the Hugentoblers a place at last month's Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City where they managed a creditable 14th place finish.
Lambiel sole Swiss
Their decision not to take part at the world championships means that Switzerland will have just one representative in Nagano next week, with Stéphane Lambiel flying the Swiss flag in the men's competition.
Last week Zurich teenager Sarah Meier announced her withdrawal from the women's event because of back pains.
The world championship organisers have much more than Swiss withdrawals to worry about though with many of the sport's top stars having also announced their absence from the competition.
Russia's Alexei Yagudin is the only Olympic champion from last month's Games who is still due to take part in Nagano.
swissinfo with agencies
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