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Winter Sports

US ski star Lindsey Vonn injured in opening race

US ski champ Lindsey Vonn has been airlifted to hospital from the Alpine Ski World Championships in Austria after crashing during the opening race. She reportedly suffered a cruciate ligament rupture.

The Oympic gold-medallist and four-time World Cup winner was leading the opening race in Schladming, Austria on Tuesday when she lost balance on her right leg in the mid-section of the Super G race while trying to land after a jump. She reportedly flipped over and did not come to a stop until sliding into a gate.

After receiving treatment on site from race medical officials, a helicopter transported Vonn, 28, from the slope in Schladming, Austria, to a nearby hospital "as is standard protocol," according to the US Ski Team website.

It was later announced that the skiing star had suffered a cruciate ligament rupture.

There were no immediate comments available regarding her condition from her team.

Fog delayed start

Foggy conditions had delayed the race for three and a half hours on Tuesday, but initial reports did not indicate whether Vonn's accident was linked to the conditions on the slope.

Slovenian skier Tina Maze went on to win gold in the Super G, finishing 1 minute 35.39 seconds. Switzerland's Lara Gut won the silver, trailing Maze by 0.38 seconds. The bronze medal was awarded to US skier Julia Mancuso who finished 0.52 seconds behind Maze.

Germany's Viktoria Rebensburg finished at 1 min 36.33, placing her seventh. Lena Duerr, also representing Germany, finished last at 1:39.66.

The women's Super G - or super giant slalom - was the only race scheduled for the second day of FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. Skiiers from the men's teams are scheduled to race in the Super G on Wednesday.

Athletes from nearly 15 nations are set to compete in the world championship which ends on February 17.

kms/ipj (AFP, Reuters, dpa)