February 16, 2006
SESTRIERE, Italy (AP Press Release)—Olympic downhill silver medalist Michael Walchhofer headed home from the Turin Games after Austria left him off its four-man squad for Saturday’s Alpine skiing super-G race.
Walchhofer, who won silver in the super-G at the 2005 Alpine World Championships, was bypassed for the final team berth in favor of overall World Cup leader Benjamin Raich and later left Italy, Austrian team spokesman Robert Brunner said.
Walchhofer won silver in Sunday’s downhill, then skied off-course during the first slalom run of Tuesday’s combined.
Austrian team Alpine director Hans Pum has said he thought Raich looked better than Walchhofer in recent training.
Austria’s super-G team also includes Hermann Maier, Hannes Reichelt and Christoph Gruber.
Maier leads the super-G World Cup standings, Reichelt is third, and Gruber won the most recent super-G on the circuit. Raich is the overall World Cup leader but hasn’t cracked the top 15 in a super-G race since the first of the season.
Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press