Sir Steve sidelined from Jump final

Hampshire Chronicle: Sir Steve Redgrave is the latest celebrity to pull out of The Jump Sir Steve Redgrave is the latest celebrity to pull out of The Jump

Sir Steve Redgrave was close to tears after he pulled out of the final of Channel 4's winter sports contest The Jump after being left in agony during training, with his rivals also nursing a variety of bumps.

The Olympic gold medallist took a further tumble during a practice run - after previously breaking a bone in his hand - and decided he could not carry on in the series, which has been beset by accidents that caused competitors to pull out.

In a further headache for programme bosses, fellow contestant Marcus Brigstocke is being treated for an injury to his knee, which has had to be strapped up in a splint.

He too is unable to take part in the show's ski jump finale, which is being broadcast live from Innsbruck in Austria.

It means the other two finalists Joe McElderry and Donal MacIntyre will fight it out between them, even thought they too have been struggling on the slopes, with McElderry lucky to escape without injury during a skiing heat. MacIntyre crossed the finish line on one ski after losing the other one on the course.

The latest dramas came as the remaining four stars were tackling the last of their challenges - "ski cross", in which competitors race down a slope featuring a number of tricky bumps and obstacles.

Sir Steve had been cleared to take part after he was left with bruising and a fracture after an incident last week that led to him missing a live show.

But as he tackled the course in a training run, he became hesitant about a large jump and as he manoeuvred to avoid it the rowing champion had a fall, leaving him in pain.

As he headed to the conveyor belt to try the course again, he decided he was not up to continuing in the contest and was said to be emotional as he announced he was out of the show.

Sir Steve was barely able to fight back the tears as he spoke to the programme team after pulling out. As he struggled to compose himself on camera, he said he was "gutted" to have to leave the contest, adding: "I love my skiing, I love the show. I want to give my all - unfortunately I gave a little too much three days ago. That's it."

Later there was further injury as Brigstocke hurt his leg while racing MacIntyre and McElderry in the heat itself. The comedian was said to have "popped" his knee as he tackled the jump on the course and had to be treated by the programme's medical team.

Show bosses were unsure whether he would be able to take part in the live programme but it was eventually he should not take part in the jump-off.

Viewers of the programme have seen several contestants pull out of the programme due to their bumps. Socialite Henry Conway broke a bone in his hand and Melinda Messenger had to withdraw as a result of concussion suffered on the bobsleigh track.

A spokeswoman for the programme confirmed the live jump-off would feature just McElderry and MacIntyre.

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