(AP) Olympic speedskating champion Wang Meng, China's most decorated Winter Olympian, broke her ankle in training and will likely miss the Sochi Games.
Wang collided with a teammate on a turn on Thursday, and underwent surgery within hours, said Liu Hao, the China team's deputy short track manager.
Such an injury usually takes six weeks to recover from, while the Winter Olympics opening ceremony is just 21 days away. The short track events begin on Feb. 10.
However, Liu said on Friday the team was not giving up hope and will stick to its original training plan.
Wang won the 500 meters gold medal at the 2006 Turin Games and 2010 Vancouver Games and was favorite again in her signature event, for which she holds the world record. She has four Olympic golds, one silver and one bronze.
The 28-year-old Wang was expelled from the national team twice, most recently in 2011 following a drunken brawl with the team manager. She was reinstated in 2012 following a national debate about the massive pressure placed on Chinese athletes by the state sports system.
Fellow Chinese Fan Kexin is also considered a medal contender in the 500.