Austrian Morgenstern plays down chances after crash

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia Fri Feb 7, 2014 3:25am IST

Austria's Thomas Morgenstern gives thumbs up ahead of his jump during the men's ski jumping individual normal hill training event of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, at the RusSki Gorki Ski Jumping Center in Rosa Khutor, February 6, 2014. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Austria's Thomas Morgenstern gives thumbs up ahead of his jump during the men's ski jumping individual normal hill training event of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, at the RusSki Gorki Ski Jumping Center in Rosa Khutor, February 6, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - Austrian ski jumper Thomas Morgenstern already has three Olympic gold medals at home, and after a training accident left him hospitalised for a week in January his top priority now is getting through the Sochi Olympics unscathed.

After completing three practice jumps on Thursday, however, Morgenstern is not discounting the chances of a podium place.

"It's step by step. We went in every (practice) round and I was very satisfied ... I am in really good shape," he told reporters after the third jump.

His leaps on Thursday were the first serious jumps he had made since landing on his back and head after losing control in the air during a training session in Austria on January 10.

He spent a week in hospital before moving to a rehabilitation clinic.

The 27-year-old, who won two Olympic titles in the individual and team large hill event in Turin in 2006 and a team large hill gold in Vancouver in 2010, said that while the accident had interrupted his preparation he still hoped to spring a surprise.

"My hope here is to get through the Games, to get back home safely and hopefully I can surprise in the competition as well," he added.

"I'm really looking forward to it and I at least know there is no pressure at the moment because of my fall ... I have a gold medal at home, it's great, it's nice to know, there's nothing to lose."

The accident was the second Morgenstern had suffered in less than a month.

He is still wearing a protective bandage on his left hand after he broke a finger and sustained facial cuts when he crashed after takeoff at a World Cup event in Germany on December 15.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren, editing by Ed Osmond/Mitch Phillips)

Photo

After wave of QE, onus shifts to leaders to boost economy

DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.

Australian Open

Reuters Showcase

Facebook Earnings

Facebook Earnings

Facebook tops Wall Street revenue target in 4th quarter.  Full Article 

Japanese Hostage

Japanese Hostage

Islamic State said to set new deadline for hostage swap  Full Article 

Cricket World Cup

Cricket World Cup

Batting holds key for team India in World Cup  Full Article 

Photo

Australian Open

Serena fends off Keys to book blockbuster Sharapova final   Full Article | Related Story 

Road To Development

Road To Development

Build better roads in developing world to bolster food supplies - study  Full Article 

Photo

Laser Pioneer Dies

Laser's co-inventor, Nobel laureate Charles Townes, dead at 99  Full Article 

New ODI Record

New ODI Record

Sri Lanka's Sangakkara breaks ODI record for dismissals  Full Article 

Rohingya Muslims

Rohingya Muslims

Rohingya refugees say traffickers in Malaysia abuse and kill.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage