Sarah Teelow, the 21-year-old world champion water-skier, died Sunday after being critically injured during a race on the Hawkesbury River, just north of Sydney, Australia.
According to her boat driver, Teelow fell after being hit by a wake, or wave, from another boat, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported
. Teelow was traveling up to above 80 mph at the time she fell collided with the water.
Having suffered severe injuries to her head and spine, Teelow went into cardiac arrest at the scene. The Australian-born skier was resuscitated by emergency services and subsequently flown to Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney where she was put on life support.
Teelow died Monday evening.
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Ski Racing Australia, the national governing body for ski racing in the country, told reporters that the incident responsible for Teelow's death was being investigated.
"The ski racing fraternity is deeply saddened by Sarah's passing and extends its condolences to her family," Ski Racing Australia Chief Executive Kristie Middleton said in a statement. "Ski Racing Australia is co-operating with police and maritime authorities in their investigation."
"The competitor in question is a very experienced skier and has been a competitor for a long period of time in Ski Racing Australia," Ski Racing Australia chairman Rick Love added. "I don't really wish to speculate as to the reasons behind the fall, but we believe that the conditions were good and that the sea was slight and that the skier has just fallen from the ski."
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that after winning the Formula 2 category of the World Waterski Racing Championships at Tenerife in the Canary Islands, Teelow said, "water skiing, as a competitive sport, is a lot more than just how fast the boat goes."
"You are limited by your ability and your fitness," Teelow added. "It requires skill, balance, strength, endurance, determination and a lot of nerve."
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