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Vogel celebrates bronze medal win

Vogel salutes the Swiss crowd after winning the bronze

(Keystone)

Switzerland's Pia Vogel may not have lived up to her golden billing in Lucerne. But the double world champion says she is more than happy after winning bronze in the lightweight single sculls.

After winning gold in the discipline at the last two world championships in 1998 and 1999, Vogel was seen as one of the favourites for victory on the Rotsee lake, situated just a few kilometres from her family home in Schenkon.

But after edging ahead of her five rivals at the 500 metre mark, the 32-year-old Swiss was overtaken first by Holland's Mirjam Ter Beek and then by Ireland's Sinead Jennings who went on to win the race in a final sprint, finishing more than a second ahead of the Dutch woman and over two seconds ahead of Vogel.

"I'm very happy to have won the bronze here in Switzerland," Vogel told swissinfo after the race. "Of course I wanted to go for the gold, but for me this is like winning gold. To be rowing in front of all these people in my home town of Lucerne - it's just the best!"

Vogel added that a possible throat infection had hampered her preparations for the final, even though she actually rowed quicker than she did in winning last Sunday's opening heat. Her success in that heat may ironically have affected her build-up as well, with Vogel having five days out of competition between her first race and her last.

"It was very difficult," Vogel insisted. "Five days is enough for a lot of things to go through your mind, and I think that was a big problem for me."

Wicki and Lüthi last

The final race of the day involving Swiss competitors saw Caroline Lüthi and Bernadette Wicki suffer an expectedly tough time in the double sculls.

Having already reached the target set for them by the national association by reaching the A-finals, the experienced Swiss pair were unable to impose themselves as Germany, New Zealand and Belarus broke away to take gold, silver and bronze respectively.

Lüthi and Wicki eventually came in last after losing a three-way skirmish with fellow strugglers Russia and Lithuania.

by Mark Ledsom, Lucerne


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