Lara Gut, the reigning World Cup overall champion, ruptured her left ACL and suffered meniscus damage in race warm-up at the world championships on Friday, according to the Swiss Ski Federation, which should end her season.
The Swiss’ absence will mean American Mikaela Shiffrin is a near-lock to become the third U.S. woman to win the World Cup overall title, the biggest annual prize in ski racing.
Gut fell in warm-up for the slalom portion of the super combined in St. Moritz, Switzerland, on Friday after placing third in the morning downhill run. She was airlifted to a hospital.
Swiss teammates Wendy Holdener and Michelle Gisin ended up taking gold and silver, with Austrian Michaela Kirchgasser in third and Lindsey Vonn fifth.
Gut came into worlds as a medal threat in a few races. She was the clear favorite in the opening super-G on Tuesday but came away with a disappointing bronze medal.
Gut won the most recent World Cup downhill and was going to be a medal favorite Sunday, along with the likes of Vonn and Slovenian Ilka Stuhec.
Gut ranks second in the World Cup overall standings this season through 26 of a scheduled 37 races. She is the only racer within striking distance of World Cup overall leader Mikaela Shiffrin, 180 points behind.
Shiffrin is poised to join Tamara McKinney and Vonn as the only U.S. women to win the World Cup overall title.Follow @nzaccardi