Sport

Monday 1 May 2017

Injury forces Kelly Gallagher out of World Para Alpine Skiing Championships

Kelly Gallagher, right, won gold at Sochi 2014 with guide Charlotte Evans
Kelly Gallagher, right, won gold at Sochi 2014 with guide Charlotte Evans

Great Britain's Paralympic champion Kelly Gallagher has withdrawn from the World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Tarvisio, Italy due to injuries sustained while training on the course with guide Gary Smith.

Visually-impaired skier Gallagher, who won super-G gold at Sochi 2014, dislocated her elbow and fractured three ribs in the incident on Monday.

The 31-year-old landed a jump on her feet but in an awkward position, with her then being thrown on to her back before sliding into netting.

She received treatment on the mountain and was subsequently airlifted to a local hospital, where she spent the night.

Confirming Gallagher's injuries and withdrawal from the competition in a statement on Tuesday, British Parasnowsport said the Northern Irish skier was "receiving the best possible medical attention and will return to the UK to begin rehabilitation shortly".

After concerns were raised about the jump section involved in Gallagher's crash - reports have suggested there was also an incident involving five-time Paralympic champion Henrieta Farkasova - organisers altered the course.

A statement from the International Paralympic Committee said: "World Para Alpine Skiing takes the safety of athletes very seriously.

"The coaches completed inspections of the course on Sunday and again on Monday morning before downhill training commenced to ensure they were satisfied.

"The athletes' inspection also took place on Monday morning with the same result.

"However, changes were made following the incidents after coaches raised concerns about the jump.

"Following the feedback, the jump was removed and another inspection by both the coaches and the athletes was carried out before training resumed.

"We wish Kelly a speedy recovery and hope she can return to competition very soon."

The World Championships starts on Wednesday, running through to next Tuesday, and is the most significant competition in the para alpine skiing calendar left ahead of the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Press Association

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