Alpine Skiing

Thomson Reuters - Monday Feb. 17, 2014 04:57 ET

Felix Neureuther doubtful for giant slalom after car crash

German quit Monday's training session early

Felix Neureuther of Germany doubtful for men's giant slalom
Felix Neureuther is Germany's best chance at an alpine medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. (Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Felix Neureuther cut short a training session on Monday because of pain in his neck after a car crash on his way to Sochi, raising doubts about whether the German would race in Wednesday's giant slalom.

Neureuther, 29, hit the crash barrier on an icy road on the way to Munich airport on Friday, suffering whiplash, bruised rips and pulled ligaments in his back.

At a news conference on Sunday, the Olympic medal contender wore a big scarf and moved as little as possible, his neck visibly stiff.

While free training went well, Neureuther suffered pain during the second run through the gates on Monday. He was being treated by a physiotherapist to try to get himself fit.

"It shot into my neck out of nowhere. It was very painful, so I ended the training," Neureuther said.

Despite having had an injury-plagued season, Neureuther is a medal candidate in both the giant slalom on Wednesday and the slalom on Saturday. He is prepared to skip the first race to be fit for the later event if necessary.

"It makes little sense to race at any cost (on Wednesday) because the slalom on Saturday is the event where ...I have a bigger chance," the German told reporters on Sunday.

Neureuther is the German men's best chance for an Alpine medal. His main competitor in the technical events will be Austria's Marcel Hirscher, who, like Neureuther, has yet to add an Olympic medal to World Cup podium positions.

The son of double Olympic champion Rosi Mittermaier and six-time slalom World Cup winner Christian Neureuther, the German is no stranger to overcoming injury.

He won the prestigious Kitzbuehel slalom last month - one of three World Cup victories since the start of the year - with his thumb in a splint and has also had back problems recently but has said that was no longer an issue.

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