Alpine skiing – World Cup champion Hirscher almost hit by drone

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Marcel Hirscher of Austria clears a gate during the first run in the men's slalom at the Alpine Skiing World Cup in Madonna di Campiglio, northern Italy, December 22, 2015. REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler

REUTERS – Four-time World Cup champion Marcel Hirscher has criticised the use of drones to film races after one crashed and almost hit him in a race at Madonna di Campiglio on Tuesday.

Television pictures showed the Austrian in the middle of his second run in a World Cup slalom race when the drone crashed to the ground behind him, shattering into pieces.

“This is horrible,” Hirscher, 26, said. “This can never happen again. This (could have caused) a serious injury.”

Hirscher, silver medallist in slalom at the Sochi Olympics in 2014, finished second in the race behind Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen, reclaiming the overall World Cup lead from Aksel Lund Svindal.

The men’s World Cup remains in Italy over Christmas with two downhill races in Santa Caterina. The women are competing in slalom events in Lienz in Austria.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

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