European marathon champion Röthlin becomes the first Swiss athlete going to London | 13.05.2012
|European champion Viktor Róthlin has become the
first athlete from his country to be named as part
of the Swiss team going to the Olympic Games in
London this summer.
It will be the fourth Games for the 37-year-old Röthlin, who has contested the marathon at the three previous editions.
He came home 36th in Sydney, failed to finish in the heat of Athens but then was the first European runner to cross the line in Beijing four years ago, when he was sixth.
With no road events being staged at the 2012 European Athletics Championships, which will be held in the Finnish capital Helsinki from 27 June – 1 July, the Olympic Games are the sole focus of Röthlin's attention this summer.
He showed that he is in good shape ahead of the summer by finishing fifth 2:08:32 at the Tokyo Marathon in February, the third best time of his career and also the third best performance by a European runner this year.
Italy and Span have also named their Olympic marathon squads in the last few days.
Ruggero Pertile is the lone Italian man who will be on the start line in London but there will be three women: Rosaria Console, Anna Incerti and Valeria Straneo; the latter being the fastest women in Europe at the moment after her Italian record of 2:23:44 at the Rotterdam Marathon last month.
Spain will send three men to London: Carles Castillejo, José Carlos Hernández and Ignacio Cáceres while Vanessa Veiga and Elena Espeso will fly the flag for their country in the women's race.