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Six go to Edmonton

Andre Bucher is expected to spearhead the Swiss challenge in Edmonton

(Keystone Archive)

The Swiss athletic association has finalised its squad for next month's world championships in Edmonton, after deciding not to extend its qualifying deadline.

Just six Swiss athletes are expected to make the trip to Canada, despite earlier predictions by technical director Peter Schläpfer that up to ten athletes would qualify.

Andre Bucher is set to be Switzerland's biggest medal hope, after a great start to the season, which has seen the Lucerne 800 metres runner set the world's best time of the year on three occasions.

The remaining five athletes also compete in track events. Anita Brägger and Sabine Fischer will run in the women's 800 and 1,500 metres respectively. Peter Philipp (1,500), Alain Rohr (400 metre hurdles) and Christian Belz (3000 metre steeplechase) complete the line-up.

The most notable absentees from this year's Swiss squad are Bern's Anita Weyermann (1,500) and Zurich's Marcel Schelbert (400 metre hurdles). Schelbert was the last Swiss athlete to step onto a world championship podium, but the 1999 bronze medallist is currently suffering from an injury to his achilles tendon.

Weyermann, who won bronze at the 1997 championships in Athens, has abandoned her plans to compete in Edmonton, deciding to concentrate instead on recovering her form.

Nadia Riesen appears to have suffered the most from the national association's decision not to extend the qualifying deadline. The Swiss champion over 100 and 200 metres was just four hundredths of a second off the limit in the shorter of the two sprint events.

swissinfo with agencies

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