Austria's Strobl Out, Blows Knee at Kitzbuehel


Kitzbuehel, Austria Jan. 15, 2002 (AP)--The Olympic hopes of Austrian skier Josef Strobl ended Tuesday when he shredded knee ligaments in a crash during downhill practice.

Strobl, a winner of seven World Cup races, will miss the rest of the season and was scheduled to travel to Schrunz for surgery.

He had appeared to be peaking with less than a month to go before the Salt Lake City Games.

He took a bad fall during training for Saturday's downhill on the Streif course, considered the most harrowing and dangerous run on the World Cup circuit.

On Saturday in Wengen, Switzerland, he placed third in the downhill. Two weeks before, he finished runner-up in a downhill in Bormio, Italy.

Strobl has had a streak of bad luck leading to major international championships.

He failed to be selected for Austria's world championship team in St. Anton last winter. He did not qualify for the worlds in Vail, Colo., in 1999.

In 1998 Strobl traveled to Nagano, Japan, after qualifying for the Olympic downhill but again failed to be selected for the team. At the 1997 worlds in Sestrieres, Italy, the Austrian crashed during the downhill.

The accident was another blow to an Austrian team beset by injuries.

World Cup overall champion Hermann Maier is still sidelined following a summer motorcycle accident in which he broke his leg. Werner Franz, Rainer Salzgeber and Heinz Schilchegger are out for the season with knee problems.

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press