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I found this sentence in one essay, but I don’t understand the structure that is written in bold. Could someone explain to me the grammar of this clause?

Those who join the tiny group of super sports professionals have not just relied on their skills, important as these are, but have worked extremely hard to make the most of them.

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"important as these are" here is a parenthetical clause. It gives extra information, in this case about "skills" If you remove the parenthetical, you have:

Those who join the tiny group of super sports professionals have not just relied on their skills, but have worked extremely hard to make the most of them.

That is a perfectly valid sentence, and indeed the meaning is not very different from the original. The parenthetical phrase simply adds an acknowledgement that the skills are important, but contrasts this with the idea that the work done to maximize the effect of the skills is also very important.

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