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Slalom champion Jean-Baptiste Grange to miss 2010 Games

Jean-Baptiste Grange
Grange won his first World Cup slalom in December 2007

France's World Cup slalom champion Jean-Baptiste Grange will miss the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver because of a serious knee injury.

"I have a ruptured knee ligament," he said after being examined at a Lyon hospital. "My season is over.

"It has been a hard decision to make, but I didn't want to take any chances. That means no Olympics in 2010."

Grange, 25, felt pain in his right knee during the World Cup giant slalom on Sunday at Beaver Creek, Colorado.

His coach David Chastan confirmed: "He requires surgery. He felt a crack on the fifth gate on the first leg in the giant slalom and as a precautionary measure didn't start the second."

Grange has notched six World Cup wins and also won bronze at the 2007 World Championships in Are, Sweden.

He added: "I am only 25 and as for the Games, I think I'll be able to take part in 2014 or 2018. I don't want to race on only one leg. Some skiers can do that but it is because their career is close to an end."

The French team will also be without giant slalom specialist Thomas Fanara and downhill and Super G competitor Pierre-Emmanuel Dalcin in Vancouver next February.

Fanara injured his left knee during a spectacular fall in the second leg of Sunday's race. He underwent surgery on the same knee two years ago.

Dalcin also sufferwed a knee injury at Beaver Creek, the French Skiing Federation said in a statement.

"We're taking this in without panicking, but it's really unlucky," added Chastan.

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see also
Injured skier Kucera misses Games
30 Nov 09 |  Alpine skiing
Winter Sports on the BBC
09 Mar 09 |  Winter Sports

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