Austria’s ski jump champion Morgenstern suffers head injury

London, Jan 11: Triple Olympic ski jump champion Thomas Morgenstern suffered a serious head injury and lung damage after a training fall in Tauplitz, Austria.

The 27-year-old Austrian lost consciousness but was able to speak after the crash and is in intensive care in Salzburg, Xinhua reported Saturday.

The BBC said that Josef Obrist, the doctor treating him, has said his life is not in danger.

It follows the skiing accident which has left former F1 racing driver Michael Schumacher in a critical condition after falling 12 days ago.

Morgenstern, one of Austria’s leading gold medal hopes for the Sochi Winter Olympics starting Feb 7, lost his balance in the air and landed on his back and head, the International Ski Federation said on its website.

“He was responsive, Thomas can move arms and legs. That’s very important,” team physician Herbert Leitner said.

Morgenstern won two Olympic titles in the individual, team large hill event in Turin in 2006 and a team large hill gold in Vancouver in 2010.

Morgenstern also crashed earlier in the Olympic season following a jump at the World Cup in Titisee-Neustadt, Germany, Dec 15.

Coach Alexander Pointner said: “We can only hope for the best. This really hurts because we are all very close. Thomas is the heart of this team.”

IANS