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Thomas Morgenstern announces retirement from Ski Jumping

Austrian ski jumper Thomas Morgenstern has announced his retirement after struggling to mentally recover from a fall in January.

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The 27-year-old won the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup title on two occasions during his career but struggled after suffering a cranial injury and lung contusion in a training accident at the start of the year.

Morgenstern was taken in intensive care at a hospital in Salzburg following the fall but made a promising recovery to return to action three weeks later.

An appearance at the Winter Olympics in Sochi saw him win team silver on the large hill to add to his three gold medals from the two previous Games.

Having returned to training early ahead of the new ski jumping season, Morgenstern surprisingly announced that he would no longer compete after struggling to overcome his fear of the hill.

"For 12 years I have been a professional ski jumper," he said on his official website. "This sport has shaped my entire life.

"During the past weeks and months I prepared intensively for the 2014-15 season. My physical fitness is optimal, [however] in therapy sessions I sat down again and again with the issue of fear.

"I moved step by step up the hill. In spite of everything, every jump cost me a lot of energy and I realised that I simply lack the necessary security [to jump].

"I've decided to listen to my inner voice and draw a line [under my career].

"I have reached my athletic goals and realised my dreams. With my last jump I got a silver medal with the team in Sochi. For me the time has come to complete this chapter."

The FIS Ski Jumping World Cup gets underway in November in Klingenthal.

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