Sweden's Lars Boerje Eriksson broke a leg and Norway's Lasse Kjus cut his lip and lost two teeth in spills during practice for the world alpine championships' downhill race, creating new concerns about the safety of the course at Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria.
Eriksson, a giant slalom and Super-G specialist, was hurt when he sped off the course and somersaulted several times on the hard, icy track.
Kjus fell in the same place as Eriksson, about midpoint of the course. The Norwegian went off the track at full speed, skidded through the nets and crashed into the crowd. No spectators were injured.
"Safety measures are shameful," said a Norwegian official, who reported that another team downhill specialist, Jan Einar Thorsen, was flagged off the course because two spectators were crossing the track as the skier came down.
Petra Kronberger began her quest for an unprecedented five medals by finishing second behind Austrian teammate Sabine Ginther in the downhill portion of the women's combined competition. That left Kronberger, a superb slalom skier, in good position to capture the combined, which will be completed with the slalom.
No Americans competed in the combined downhill. U.S. skier Hilary Lindh will be on the starting list for today's downhill race, although she did not participate in any official training runs for the event.