Olympics: Bucher cruises into 800 metres final

André Bucher sets the pace in his 800 metres semi-final Keystone

Swiss athlete André Bucher has easily qualified for Wednesday's 800 metres final. The Lucerne runner finished second in his semi-final race, after allowing Germany's Nils Schumann to pass him near the finish line.

This content was published on September 25, 2000 minutes

Clearly conserving his energy for the final, Bucher ran the semi-final in a time of 1'44"38, the second-slowest of the six automatic qualifying times.

"Fifty metres from the finish line there was no doubt in my mind that I had qualified, so I didn't need to sprint at all," he said.

The fastest man this year over the 800 metres distance, Bucher is hoping to win Switzerland's first ever athletics gold medal.

But he's realistic: "It's going to be a really tight race, and any of us could win it," he said after Monday's race. " I do hope to be one of the three who makes it to the podium, though" he added.

Bucher said he had every intention of setting the pace in Wednesday's race if necessary, "But not the way I did tonight!" he said.

To achieve victory the Swiss runner will have to fight off strong competition from his main rivals Djabir Said-Guerni, Juri Borsakovski and Wilson Kipketer.

All three qualified automatically for the final, with Said-Guerni recording the quickest time.

swissinfo with agencies

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