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Injured downhill ski champion John Kucera to miss Games

John Kucera
Canadian Kucera was rated as a top medal hope at the Olympics

Canadian skier John Kucera, rated as one of his country's top medal hopes at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, is out of the Games.

Kucera, the downhill world champion, broke his left leg in a high-speed crash in the World Cup super-G.

The race at Lake Louise in Canada was delayed by 20 minutes and was won by compatriot Manuel Osborne-Paradis.

Kucera, 25, was airlifted to hospital and underwent surgery to his tibia and fibia on Sunday.

Canadian ski team spokesman Max Gartner said: "John Kucera is known as a ski racer with a determined approach to achieving his goals.

"We are confident that he will set about his rehabilitation process the same way that he has approached his career on the slopes."

606: DEBATE

It was Osborne-Paradis' first World Cup super-G win and his time of 1:32.93 was more than a second ahead of runner-up Benjamin Raich and Austrian compatriot Michael Walchhofer. Britain's Dougie Crawford finished 47th.

Osborne-Paradis said afterwards: "It's amazing but bad this wonderful day has been overshadowed by John's injury."

Saturday's downhill at the same venue was won by Switzerland's Didier Cuche, who at the age of 35, became the oldest man to win a World Cup downhill.

In the women's World Cup, held in Aspen, Colorado, in the United States, Germany's Kathrin Hoelzl triumphed in the giant slalom and the Czech Republic's Sarka Zahrobska won the slalom for the second year running. Britain's Chemmy Alcott missed a gate in the second leg of the giant slalom and did not complete the race.

The Winter Olympics will be held between 12-28 February.



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see also
Winter Sports on the BBC
09 Mar 09 |  Winter Sports
Svindal wins super-combined gold
09 Feb 09 |  Winter Sports


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