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Swiss make slow start in Antwerp

The first day of the world track cycling championships in Belgium saw the Swiss riders well out of medal contention, although Zurich's Franco Marvulli continued his recent improvements with an eighth place finish in the individual pursuit.

Marvulli assured himself of a place in Wednesday evening's semi-finals after recording the eighth quickest time during the morning's qualifying session.

The evening race saw the Swiss rider quickly overtaken by the Ukraine's Alexander Simonenko. Nevertheless Marvulli's final placing showed clear progress since his two previous world championships, in which he finished 14th and tenth.

Confusion over the tournament's rules may have cost Marvulli an even higher place in the final rankings, though. After being overtaken by Simonenko the Swiss rider stopped cycling. By continuing to the end he would have made sure of at least seventh place.

Swiss student Michel Lato was nowhere near a top ten place in the kilometre time trial, finishing 20th out of a 21-strong starting line-up. More used to shorter distances, Lato made a promising start during the first two laps but soon fell back.

Lato's time of 1'07"765 was more than two seconds slower than his own personal best and more than five seconds slower than the winning time of France's Arnaud Tournant, who on Wednesday completed his fourth world championship title in a row.

swissinfo with agencies

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