Second cycling bronze for Switzerland


Swiss cyclist Karin Thürig has taken bronze in the women's cycling individual time trial in Beijing, delivering Switzerland's second Olympic medal.

This content was published on August 13, 2008 - 09:00

The 36-year-old from Lucerne finished third in the 23.5 kilometre race almost a minute after Kristin Armstrong of the United States who posted a time of 34 minutes 51.72 seconds. Britain's Emma Pooley, who lives in Zurich, won silver.

Thürig had the disadvantage of starting early in the event so that her rivals knew what time they had to beat but she fought hard for her medal.

"My strategy was not to go right to the limit in the climbs, so that I could push on the descents."

After a dip in the beginning of the season, Thürig came to the Olympics in top form as she proved in a recent race in Thüringen in Germany.

The second Swiss competitor in the women's time trial, Priska Doppmann, finished in ninth place.

Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara won bronze in the men's cycling road race on Saturday, securing Switzerland's first medal on the first day of the Olympic Games.

Cancellara is competing later on Wednesday in the time trials, bringing Switzerland's next good chance of a medal.

"My number one objective before these Olympic Games was the time trial," Cancellara said recently.

"I will be much more relaxed because I already have a medal in my pocket ... My motivation is great and my confidence has increased," he added. He named American Levi Leipheimer and Australian Michael Rogers as his main rivals.

Thürig also has another sporting chance in Beijing – she is competing in the 3,000 metre individual pursuit event on Friday. She came fifth in this discipline four years ago in Athens.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

1. Kristin Armstrong, United States, 34:51.72, 40.44.
2. Emma Pooley, Britain, 35:16.01, +24.29.
3. Karin Thürig, Switzerland, 35:50.99, +59.27.

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Karin Thürig was born in July 1972.

An economist by profession, she is known as an all-round athlete.

She is a former national league volleyball player, fitness instructor and competes in extreme triathlons. Thürig is also a keen horse rider.

The athlete won a previous cycling bronze in the 2004 Games in Athens and was world time trial champion in 2004 and 2005.

Karin Thürig was voted Swiss Sportsperson of the Year in 2004.

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