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Kildow, Montillet-Carles in Downhill Event

February 15, 2006

SAN SICARIO, Italy (AP) _ Top American contender Lindsey Kildow and defending Olympic champion Carole Montillet-Carles both say they’ll compete in the women’s downhill Wednesday, two days after training-run crashes sent them to a hospital.

But overall World Cup leader Janica Kostelic is out of the race.

Kildow, who is from Vail, Colo., was discharged from the hospital Tuesday despite pain in her lower back and pelvis. She checked out the course Wednesday morning and decided she felt well enough to ski.

``She is going to go,″ U.S. women’s coach Patrick Riml told The Associated Press. ``She already went through inspection this morning and she’s going to give it a go.″

Montillet-Carles hurt her ribs, back and face in a crash on Monday. Lionel Finance, director of the French Alpine skiing team, said Wednesday morning that Montillet would race.

``It was she who decided to take part, even though she’s not at all in perfect condition,″ Finance said. ``She’s relying on her mental strength.″

Since Kildow and Montillet did not participate in Tuesday’s final training run, they will have to start outside the top 30 racers.

Kostelic, who has been ill, dropped out of the race _ which is set for 6 a.m. EST.

The Croatian won three gold medals and a silver at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, but downhill is her weakest event. It is the only event in which she did not compete four years ago.

``She said she would not start today for the downhill because, even though she is feeling better, they don’t want to risk anything,″ team spokesman Ozren Muller said Wednesday morning. ``They just want her to rest and be well enough for the next four races.″

Other pre-race favorites include Sweden’s Anja Paerson, Kildow’s American teammate Julia Mancuso and a trio of veteran speedsters from Austria _ Michaela Dorfmeister, Renate Goetschl and Alexandra Meissnitzer.

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