Former world downhill champion Patrick Kueng retires

KITZBUEHEL, Austria (AP) — Swiss skier Patrick Kueng has retired from the sport, four years after winning the world downhill title in Beaver Creek, Colorado.

The 35-year-old speed specialist announced his decision Wednesday, six days after getting a mild concussion from a downhill training crash on the Lauberhorn course in Wengen, Switzerland.

“I am convinced that this is the right step and, here in Kitzbuehel, also the right place,” said Kueng, adding that last week’s accident had contributed to his decision.

“In the spring of last year I decided to give it one more go and try to get back among the world’s best skiers,” he said. “But on the race courses it became clear that I am not consistent enough. The crash in Wengen last week has also opened my eyes.”

A few months after winning the world title in February 2015, Kueng injured his left knee, forcing him to end the 2015-16 season prematurely. He only returned to World Cup skiing in December 2016 but failed to match his old level and scored only two more top-10 results. However, he missed another downhill medal by only 0.02 seconds at the worlds in St. Moritz in 2017.

This season he competed in four downhills, with 17th in Beaver Creek in November his best result.

In 125 starts during his 10-year World Cup career, Kueng won two races — a super-G in Beaver Creek in December 2013 and the classic downhill in Wengen the next month.

Kueng competed at the 2014 Sochi Olympics but failed to make the top 10 of either the downhill or the super-G race.