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Cuche thumb injury threatens Olympic bid

Swiss alpine skier Didier Cuche broke his right thumb during a World Cup giant slalom event on Friday, putting his participation at the Vancouver Games in doubt.

The super-G world champion and Olympic medal contender travelled back to Switzerland and will undergo surgery at a clinic in Zurich on Saturday, the Swiss Ski Federation said.

In his second run at Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, Cuche hit the second-to-last gate with his right ski, fell and slid over the finish line. He was disqualified for missing the final gate.

"More details regarding possible consequences for participation at the Olympic Winter Games will be available after the operation," the federation said in a statement.

The race was won by Ted Ligety of the United States.

The 35-year-old Cuche is among the Olympic favourites at downhill, super-G and giant slalom. He has won one medal so far – a silver in super-G at the 1998 Nagano Games.

The men's downhill is the first Alpine skiing event in Vancouver on February 13.

Cuche won both the super-G and the downhill at the traditional Hahnenkamm races in Kitzbühel, Austria, last week. He has won a total of 13 World Cup titles - six in downhill, four in super-G and three in giant slalom. and agencies

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