MOSCOW (Reuters) - Pavel Karelin, Russia's leading ski jumper, died in a car crash on Sunday. He was 21.
"Pavel Karelin's tragic death is a huge and irreplaceable loss for Russian sport," the country's ski jumping federation said in a statement.
Police said Karelin died in the early hours when his Mercedes collided with another vehicle on a motorway near Nizhny Novgorod, some 570 kms east of Moscow.
Karelin had competed regularly on the World Cup circuit. His best result was second place in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in January.
He took part in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, finishing 10th in the team competition and 33rd in the individual event.
(Writing by Gennady Fyodorov; Editing by Clare Fallon)