Swiss competitors clean up at WorldSkills event

The Swiss delegation have brought home a total of 16 medals, of which five were gold, from this year’s WorldSkills competition in the Russian city of Kazan. This makes Switzerland the top-performing European nation and third best overall in the world.

The SwissSkills team.
The SwissSkills team. Image credit: SwissSkills

The winners at this year’s WorldSkills competition held in the Russian city of Kazan have now been announced. The 2019 edition saw a total of 1,600 young professionals from 63 countries take part in the event, as outlined by the SwissSkills foundation in a press release. A total of 41 young professionals from Switzerland were entered into 39 competitions at the finals. Of these, two teams of two people and 14 individual competitors won 16 medals overall.

Switzerland ranked third overall

The SwissSkills team was the top-performing European nation in Kazan, taking a place on the podium with a third-place finish in the overall global rankings. “Only the superior Chinese and South Korean team won more points per participant on average than the Swiss”, the press release explains. Moreover, the young Swiss competitors took home a total of 16 medals, of which five were gold, in addition to a further 13 “medallions for excellence”.

Rico Cioccarelli, SwissSkills technical delegate, commented in the press release: “We can take huge pride in this result”. Cioccarelli explained how major nations such as Russia and China make great efforts to secure success at the WorldSkills event, before claiming: “To me, this makes our great team result all the more impressive”.

Key to success is creating the right team environment

In the Swiss squad, expert restaurateur Martina Wick emerged as “Best of Nation”. The gold medal winner from Arnegg SG secured the best overall point score of all Swiss competitors. At 17 years of age and having not yet completed his apprenticeship in IT, the youngest Swiss competitor, Nicolas Ettlin from Geneva, won a silver medal in the Web Technologies competition.

A further press release issued by SwissSkills explains how it is not only the competitors themselves who are responsible for the success of the Swiss team. Experts from the respective occupational fields prepare the young professionals ahead of their participation in the competition. Automotive technology expert Flavio Helfenstein was also keen to emphasize the role played by training schemes, employers and professional associations. He claimed that success such as that enjoyed by the Swiss team in Kazan can only be made possible when the whole team environment is just right.

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