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Svindal skips classic Wengen downhill as knee injury flares

access_time Jan 13,2017 chat_bubble_outline 51 views
Svindal skips classic Wengen downhill as knee injury flares

WENGEN, Switzerland (AP) — A high point of the World Cup season, the classic downhill at Wengen, will be without its defending champion Aksel Lund Svindal on Saturday.

The race itself could also be a casualty if the forecast 45 centimeters (17 inches) of snow dumps on the course.

Svindal said on Friday he will skip the storied Lauberhorn race — the oldest, longest and quirkiest downhill on the World Cup circuit — to get treatment for a knee injury, he wrote in an Instagram post.

"One of the most spectacular races in the world. But I will not be pushing out of this start gate tomorrow," announced Svindal, who completed training runs this week overlooked by the Eiger, Moench and Jungfrau mountains.

"There's something that's not the way it should be in my knee, and I need to get it figured out. Difficult decision, but hopefully the right one..." said the 34-year-old Norwegian, who left the Swiss resort on Friday.

For downhill racers like Svindal, back-to-back classics in Wengen and Kitzbuehel, Austria, are when their World Cup season peaks.

Svindal finally won in Wengen last January at his 10th career attempt, but his standout season ended one week later when he tore his right ACL in a crash in Kitzbuehel.

On his comeback in December, Svindal returned to form with top-three finishes in races in Val d'Isere, France, and Val Gardena, Italy. The bumpy Italian race is known for being physically demanding.

Wengen's race, now in its 87th year, is also grueling when run down the full 4.3-kilometer (2 3/4-mile) distance.

That looked unlikely given forecasts for snow and 60 kph (37 mph) gusts before the scheduled Saturday lunchtime start.

Organizers are focused on preparing a 2.7-kilometer (1 2/3-mile) course to start lower down the hill.

"There is probably no chance to go from the top," race director Markus Waldner said on Friday.

It would be the third year in four, including for Svindal's win, that a shorter Lauberhorn race was run due to weather issues.

With clearer skies not expected until the afternoon, a higher start number for the top 20 racers is likely favored.

In Svindal's absence, teammate Kjetil Jansrud used his status as highest-ranked racer to pick start bib No. 19, the highest number open to him.

Still, Waldner also raised the prospect of a cancellation when he told team leaders that a postponed downhill would not bump Sunday's slalom from the schedule.

Wengen would be the fourth downhill cancelled this season — including both in North America which found new dates elsewhere — leaving two gaps in the schedule.

The United States could step in with Beaver Creek, Colorado, an option to stage a make-up race in March. The Birds of Prey course lost its original slot in December due to a lack of snow and warm temperatures.

Waldner suggested Beaver Creek could be used in the vacant March 10-12 slot, immediately before the men's and women's circuits head to Aspen for the finals week races.

Rare shooting by Chinese official acting out of revenge say police

BEIJING (Reuters) - A rare shooting rampage in China's southwest Sichuan province was carried out by a revengeful and panicked official who was under investigation, state media said.Chen Zhongshu, head of the Panzhihua city's land and resources bureau, burst into a meeting of top city leaders on Jan. 4 and opened fire, injuring two, before fleeing and committing suicide, state media reported at the time.An investigation into the incident found "sufficient evidence to conclude that Chen became… chat_bubble_outline Read More...

2017 holds mixed prospects for growth, say experts

The government just submitted a draft scenario for economic development in 2017 to the National Assembly, with a growth target of 6.7 per cent, higher than this year’s expected 6.3-6.5 per cent. According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), which designs the growth targets, local production recovery and a rise in foreign direct investment (FDI) will be the major propellants for next year’s higher growth. Some high-profile international experts agreed with MPI’s view. Raymond… chat_bubble_outline Read More...

Southampton left sweating after defeat in Prague

Paris (AFP) - Southampton's hopes of reaching the Europa League knockout rounds remain in the balance after Claude Puel's side lost 1-0 away to Sparta Prague in the Czech Republic on Thursday.A solitary first-half goal by Zimbabwean full-back Costa Nhamoinesu, firing a Borek Dockal free-kick past Fraser Forster, was the difference between the sides at the Generali Arena in Prague.Southampton could have clinched qualification in different circumstances but instead they must now prepare for a… chat_bubble_outline Read More...

Deputy PM urges efforts to realise sustainable forestry development goals

The deputy PM made the request at a conference held in the central province of Nghe An on March 17 to review the 2011-2016 forest protection and development plan and implement the target programme for the following five-year period. He spoke highly of the significant outcomes attained by the forestry sector over the years, while highlighting the importance of forest preservation and development work. He urged the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and relevant ministries,… chat_bubble_outline Read More...

McLaren's super news for supercar fans

McLaren Automotive announces second-generation Super Series with a teaser image of its all-new carbon fiber monocage structure.On Wednesday UK supercar firm McLaren officially confirmed that a successor to the Ferrari 488 GTB-baiting S650 is coming this year.Due to the resources needed to design, develop and build limited production, super exclusive and super-fast cars, they tend to stay in production for between five and ten years before being replaced.However, due to the intense completion in… chat_bubble_outline Read More...

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