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Nordic skiing-Improving Baacke set to return to Germany
( 2001-11-24 15:42 ) (7 )

German Nordic combined sprint world champion Marko Baacke continued to improve on Friday after an operation to remove his left kidney and spleen following a training accident in Finland.

A German Skiing Federation (DSV) spokesman said in Berlin that Baacke had left intensive care and should be flown to Germany on Monday for more treatment.

Baacke crashed during ski jumping training on Tuesday in what did not appear to be a serious fall. However, he later started to vomit repeatedly and was flown to a clinic at Oulu,

The DSV said it was still too early to say what the accident would mean for the 21-year-old's sporting future.

Baacke romped to victory in Lahti in Finland last February when he won the sprint world title, earning Germany their first gold for 16 years in the twin ski jumping-cross country discipline.

His crash came the same day Germany's top men's Alpine skiing medal prospect Florian Eckert was ruled out of the Winter Olympics after breaking his leg in training.

Safety has been a major issue in skiing since France's top woman Alpine skier Regine Cavagnoud died from brain injuries sustained in a high-speed collision in Austria last month.



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