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Injury Ends Franzi's Season -- May 3, 2001

BERLIN, May 3. GERMAN world record-holder Franziska van Almsick will miss the rest of the 2001 season due to a damaged intervertebral disc.

"It makes no sense to carry on, the pain is too strong," the 23-year-old Olympic silver medalist and former world champion said on today.

Van Almsick, who set the world record in the 200m freestyle at the 1994 World Championships in Rome, has struggled ever since to regain her championship form. However, she dismissed speculation that she might retire. For years she has been Germany's most popular athlete.

She said she would concentrate on preparing for the short-course season and next year's European Championships in Berlin.

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