Crash ends Hoefl-Riesch's World Cup hopes

Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:01pm EDT
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By Manuele Lang

LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland (Reuters) - Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch crashed heavily and was taken to hospital at the World Cup finals in Lenzerheide on Wednesday, ending her chances of winning the overall title.

Hoefl-Riesch, the overall champion in 2011, was sent to hospital in nearby Chur with a suspected shoulder injury after crashing in the downhill which was won by Swiss Lara Gut.

The German's team later announced that she would not take part in the final races of the season.

Anna Fenninger was trailing Olympic super combined gold medalist Hoefl-Riesch by 29 points in the overall World Cup standings before the start but the Austrian finished sixth in the downhill and now leads by 11 points.

Hoefl-Riesch had already clinched the World Cup downhill title but was unable to receive her crystal globe at the medal ceremony after the day's race.

"It was a strange feeling to do the ceremony without Maria," Fenninger, who won the super-G title at the Sochi Olympics, said. "We don't like it to end this way.

"I hope she'll recover soon and return. I don't think about the overall. I ski my races and try to keep cool. I know that Maria could not be back and that Tina (Maze) needs to win the next three races to beat me but I don't want to think about it."

With Hoefl-Riesch out of the final races in Lenzerheide, in-form Fenninger has an ideal opportunity to clinch the overall World Cup for the first time.   Continued...

Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch skis during the women's downhill event during the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup finals in the Swiss ski resort of Lenzerheide March 12, 2014. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich