Vienna, Austria, Nov. 19, 2001 (AP)--Downhill world champion Hannes Trinkl will be sidelined four weeks after breaking his sternum and injuring his face and neck during practice Sunday.
The 33-year-old Austrian crashed while making a run in Schladming in the Austrian Alps. He was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Salzburg.
Doctors said that in addition to the chest damage he cut his face and sustained whiplash and minor shoulder injuries. Dr. Artur Trost of the Austrian Ski Federation suspected that Trinkl fell on his face and might have hit a hole in the snow.
Trainer Jurgen Graller was with Trinkl at the time of the crash. He said the skier was conscious when placed in the helicopter, could feel all his limbs and communicate normally.
He will remain under observation for 24 hours, the Austria News Agency reported.
Trinkl won the downhill title at the 2001 world championships in St. Anton, Austria.