Italy Tries to Replace Injured Ski Jumpers

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February 8, 2006

TURIN, Italy (AP Press Release)—The Italian ski jumping team might still be able to replace two of its athletes who were injured during training. Marco Beltrame and Stefano Chiapolino were hurt in separate falls while attempting landings Monday at Predazzo in Val di Fiemme.

Beltrame's injuries did not appear to be serious at first, but he fainted before dinner Monday night and was taken to the hospital, where his spleen was removed.

Chiapolino broke his nose and needed stitches after getting cuts on his face.

The injuries were not thought to be career-threatening.

The head coach of the Italian Nordic Combined team, Fabio Morandini, blamed the falls on technical mistakes, but top Italian ski jumper Sebastian Colloredo blamed the slopes.

"We are really upset, Colloredo said. "I saw both falls, it was horrible. It was the fault of the slopes in Predazzo.

The injuries leave Italy with three ski jumpers.

The Italian Olympic Committee said it was looking into whether other athletes meet the technical and qualifying standards required. A decision was expected by Wednesday or Thursday.

Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press