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Petra Vlhová will miss rest of Beijing Olympics with ankle injury

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Slalom gold medalist Petra Vlhová is leaving Beijing early due to an inflamed left ankle tendon. As a result, she will miss the alpine combined event, where she would have been medal favorite Mikaela Shiffrin’s top challenger.

“Having reached her goal of gold in the slalom and considering this small physical problem, we are putting the priority on her next goals, and we don’t want to risk making things worse by aiming for a medal in the combined,” Mauro Pini, Vlhová’s coach, told The Associated Press on Sunday.

Pini added that 26-year-old wants to go home and have time to “share this medal with those closest to her.”

The World Cup skiing circuit will resume after the Olympics, with Vlhová trailing Shiffrin by just 17 points in the overall standings. She became the first Slovakian to win the overall title last season.

Vlhová had already sat out of Super-G and the first downhill training session. The second was postponed due to heavy snowfall.