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Russia's top jumper dies in car crash

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)