IPC Alpine World Championships: Kelly Gallagher fractures ribs & dislocates elbow

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter in Tarvisio, Italy
Kelly Gallagher
Kelly Gallagher won gold in Sochi in the visually impaired Super-G competition

Paralympic champion Kelly Gallagher will miss this week's World Para Alpine skiing championships after suffering a dislocated elbow and three fractured ribs during a crash in training.

Visually impaired skier Gallagher, who won gold at Sochi 2014, was testing the course on Monday with guide Gary Smith.

Organisers had altered the course after concerns were raised about the jump section where the 31-year-old crashed.

Gallagher landed her jump, but slid into netting, which caused the injury.

The Briton received treatment on the mountain before being airlifted to a local hospital, where she spent the night.

Speaking prior to the incident, Gallagher's team-mate Millie Knight told BBC Sport the conditions were "fantastic" and that the course was "amazing".

However, the Northern Irish skier's crash was preceded by another involving five-time Paralympic champion Henrieta Farkasova.

In a statement, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said that all athletes and coaches had inspected the course beforehand and that it was only after the crashes that concerns were raised.

"World Para Alpine Skiing takes the safety of athletes very seriously," said an IPC spokesperson.

"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."

Knight and the other remaining British competitor Menna Fitzpatrick will be joined in the opening downhill and SuperG speed events by James Whitley, who competes in the men's standing class.

Each will then race in the final three technical events along with another British standing skier, Matt Short.

The World Para Alpine skiing championships, which run from 25-31 January, are the final major event for athletes in the sport ahead of next year's Winter Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

It starts on Wednesday with over 130 skiers from 30 nations competing.

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