Wiberg Pulls Out of Women's Combined

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Snowbasin, Utah Feb. 13, 2002 (AP)--Former World Cup overall champion Pernilla Wiberg withdrew from the women's combined on Wednesday because of a sore knee.

Wiberg, a strong all-arounder who has always done well in the combined, hurt her left knee during Tuesday's downhill, where she finished 14th.

The Swede, who has a long history of knee problems, said she preferred to stay off her leg and save herself for Sunday's super giant slalom. The combined is Thursday.

``She's not competing in the combined,'' said Bjorn Folin, press director for the Swedish Olympic Committee. ``Her left knee got all swollen during the downhill. There were a lot of long, high jumps and her knee took a lot of shocks.

``She could probably have competed in the combined and been OK, but she said she felt her best medal chances were in the Super G and did not want to ruin that chance.''

The Swede said this will likely be her last season.

``This will be my fourth Olympics and it would be good to finish with a medal,'' the 31-year-old said.

Wiberg already has a formidable medal collection--a gold in the giant slalom at the 1992 Olympics, a gold in the combined in 1994 and a silver in the downhill in 1998.

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