sport

Vonn targets Sochi Olympics

Lindsey Vonn is determined to return for next year's Winter Olympics in Sochi after her season-ending crash.

Vonn suffered a serious knee injury after crashing on the opening day of the World Championships in Schladming, Austria.

The American superstar was airlifted to hospital after falling midway through her super-G race and suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in her right knee, plus a lateral tibial plateau fracture, according to US Ski Team medical director Kyle Wilkens.

A statement released on Vonn's behalf on usskiteam.com read: "First off I want to say thank you to the amazing medical staff that cared for me.

"I plan on returning to Vail (her Colorado hometown) as soon as I can to have the necessary surgeries.

"I am also grateful to my fans for the outpouring of support, which has really helped me stay positive.

"I can assure you that I will work as hard as humanly possible to be ready to represent my country next year in Sochi."

Tuesday's opening World Championship race had been delayed by almost four hours due to fog. Officials had then struggled to get the event started due to fading light on the course.

Vonn lost her balance after a jump, landing on her right knee before flipping over and crashing through a gate. She was treated on the course for 12 minutes before being airlifted to hospital.

The injury is the latest setback for Vonn, the reigning Olympic downhill champion and four-time overall World Cup winner, who had missed several weeks of the season with an intestinal illness in November.

At the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin she suffered a crash in downhill training but came back to compete in four of her five scheduled events, although she failed to recover sufficiently to win a medal.

She finally won her Olympic title in Vancouver in 2010, where she claimed downhill gold ahead of compatriot Julia Mancuso, while she also won a bronze medal in the super-G.