Kernen airlifted from course after bad crash

Former world champion Bruno Kernen of Switzerland was airlifted from the course after a crash in the season-ending World Cup downhill on Wednesday.

The 34-year-old Swiss badly landed from a jump coming out of a turn in the lower section of the Silvano Beltrametti course and went careening through two layers of safety netting.

Kernen lay immobile, his face in his gloved-hands, as medics came to his aid. He was bundled into a stretcher and taken away by helicopter.

The race was interrupted as course workers restored the netting as well as replaced a gate that snapped in two when Kernen's arm crashed through it.

The extent of Kernen's injuries were not immediately certain.

The Silvano Beltrametti course was named after the young Swiss ski racer who was paralyzed in a high-speed crash during a World Cup downhill at Val d'Isere, Switzerland, in 2001, when he lost control and hurtled into the safety netting to land in the forest behind.

The downhill bronze medalist at the Turin Olympics, Kernen is a 15-year veteran of the World Cup circuit.

He was crowned downhill world champion in 1997 at Sestriere, Italy, where he also took the silver in the combined event, reports AP.

At the recent world championships in Are, Sweden, Kernen lifted the bronze in the super-G. He also took bronze in downhill at the worlds on home snow in St. Moritz, Switzerland, in 2003.

Kernen has three career World Cup victories, all in downhill.

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