German weightlifter escapes serious injury after barbell hit his neck

08/08/2012 10:17 EDT | Updated 10/08/2012 05:12 EDT
LONDON - German weightlifter Matthias Steiner is sore and bruised but otherwise recovering well after dropping a 196-kilogram (432-pound) barbell on his neck at the Olympics.

Steiner escaped serious injuries after getting hit by the bar in the super heavyweight competition on Tuesday. The defending Olympic champion got up on his feet but left the competition and was taken to a London hospital for medical checks.

German team doctor Helmut Schreiber said tests showed Steiner suffered ligament and muscle injuries but no damage to his spine. No surgery was needed.

Steiner said "although I would have loved to win a medal here, abandoning the competition was the right thing to do ... I am just glad that there are no fears of permanent damage."