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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 February 2006, 13:13 GMT
Walchhofer dropped from super-G
Benjamin Raich
Raich is the current overall combined World Cup leader
Downhill silver medallist Michael Walchhofer is out of the Austrian line-up for the men's super-G.

Team bosses have opted instead for Benjamin Raich, 27, who took bronze in last year's world championships.

Former world downhill champion Walchhofer, 30, has failed to shine in World Cup super-G races this winter.

Raich, who crashed out in the combined event, completes an Austrian quartet comprising Hermann Maier, Hannes Reichelt and Christoph Gruber.

Maier has been suffering from a sore throat and is currently recuperating but is certain to return for his favourite event, according to his agent.

"He was in a quiet place, racing and improving his health - he is feeling better," said Walter Della Karth.

Walchhofer, who finished second behind surprise winner Antoine Deneriaz in Sunday's blue riband event, will not now race again at the Olympics.

Like Raich, he also failed to finish the men's combined on Tuesday night and does not compete in the two remaining slalom events on the alpine programme.

Despite not being a super-G specialist, Raich impressed his team bosses at the start of the season when he finished second in the Lake Louise super-G in Canada.

Nicknamed "the blitz from Pitz" - Raich is from Pitztal in Austria - he was leading the combined event until his dramatic exit gifted victory to the American Ted Ligety.

Reichelt, 25, claimed his first Super-G World Cup victory in poor conditions in Colorado in December.

Former double Olympic and world champion Maier, 32, won a fifth victory in World Cup super-G in Kitzbuehel in January.

Christoph Gruber, 29, booked his place in the team with a victory in the World Cup super-G at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, last month.


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SEE ALSO
Aamodt hopeful of super-G defence
14 Feb 06 |  Winter Olympics


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