6 Feb 2013

Vonn's season ends in first race in controversial conditions

8:52 am on 6 February 2013

The World Ski Championships got off to the worst possible start in Austria when US star Lindsey Vonn was injured in a crash in controversial conditions in the opening women's super-G that has ended her season.

The 28-year-old media starlet, one of global sport's most recognisable and marketable female figures, landed on the side of her ski after a jump during the opening super-G race in Austria and flipped over before crashing into a safety gate, rupturing cruciate ligaments in her right knee.

The race took place late in the day, nearly four hours behind schedule due to fog when the light was fading.

Slovenia's Tina Maze, the runaway World Cup leader, kept her momentum to snatch her first gold medal of the competition.

The four-time World Cup overall winner had been looking to recapture her super-G world title from 2009 and had been leading before her crash.

Her injury came almost exactly one year to the day before the 2014 Winter Olympics kick off in Sochi, where she would be expected to spearhead the US team.