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Young Swiss professionals shine at WorldSkills

The medal winners celebrate their success in Kazan
The medal winners celebrate their success in Kazan Michael Zanghellini/SwissSkills

Switzerland has won 16 medals, including five gold, at the WorldSkillsExternal link competition – a kind of Olympics for trade skills – in Kazan in western Russia.

The Swiss team, known as SwissSkillsExternal link, captured five gold, five silver and six bronze medals at the event, which wrapped up on Tuesday night in the Kazan Arena.

The five gold medals went to the following participants: restaurant service specialist Martina Wick (who had to highest score of all Swiss; see video below), baker/confectioner Sonja Durrer, wall and floor tiler Renato Meier,  electrician Florian Baumgartner and the landscape gardening team of Mario Enz and Fabian Hodel. The full result list with trainer names can be found hereExternal link.

Only China and Korea earned more medals than SwissSkills, the top European team. The team’s aim had been to come in among the top three nations, following on from its best ever performance at the last WorldSkills competition in Abu Dhabi in 2017.

+ Read more about the Abu Dhabi record haul here

WorldSkills is held every two years at a different location. The aim is to find the best young people in skills from a wide range of industries – from hairdressing to joinery, to electronics and carpentry. This year 1,600 people from 63 nations took part.

Switzerland fielded 41 young professionals, all under the age of 22, representing 39 skills. Of these, 18 earned+ medals because some disciplines feature two-person teams. Another 13 received diplomas for especially good work. All had trained very hard for the event, as we reported in our opener to the competition.

Tough competition, support

The toughest competition had been expected to come from China, Korea, Brazil, France and Russia, according to SwissSkills.

“We’ve noticed that world powers like Russia and China have recently made enormous efforts to celebrate success at WorldSkills,” said SwissSkills technical delegate Rico Cioccarelli. “All the more reason for me to rate this great team result highly.”

Ahead of the results, SwissSkills foundation president Reto Wyss had praised the Swiss team’s enthusiasm and precision, even during the difficult phases of the competition. But he also noted that competition had been high from the other top teams.

Apart from the hundreds of fans who had accompanied the Swiss team, it also received support Economics Minister Guy Parmelin, who holds the education portfolio, who visited on the first day of the competition.

The next WorldSkills event will take place in Shanghai, China, in 2021.

In the article below, read what cabinetry silver medal winner Samanta Kämpf told while training for the competition:


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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR