Switzerland’s most successful marathon runner of all time, Viktor Röthlin, has finally hung up his running shoes, following an impressive career during which he scooped many titles. (SRF/swisisnfo.ch)
Röthlin, from Kerns in Obwalden, trained as an electrical engineer and a physiotherapist. He became a professional athlete in 2007. He was sometimes known as the white African, as he spent much of his time training with the world’s best long distance athletes in Kenya, giving them all a run for their money.
He has a good set of medals in his cabinet. He won gold at the 2010 European Athletics Championships in Barcelona, silver at the 2006 European Athletics Championships in Gothenburg, and bronze at the 2007 IAAF World Championships in Osaka. He has set four Swiss national records at marathon distance.
But he didn’t attempt any races in 2009, because he contracted thrombosis during a flight from the United Arab Emirates, which led to an embolism.
The runner was named Swiss athlete of the year five times in a row and nominated Swiss sportsman of the year in 2007, but was pipped to the post by tennis ace Roger Federer.
He ran his last marathon on August 17, 2014 at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich, coming in 5th.