World champion short track speed skater Lara van Ruijven has died at 27 after a short battle with illness.

The International Skating Union (ISU) reported Van Ruijven had been in a hospital in France for two weeks after falling ill during a training camp, before being diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder.

She was then placed in a coma and underwent surgery.

The ISU, quoting the Royal Dutch Skating Federation (KNSB), said she died on Friday evening.

Advertisement

"The ISU is very saddened by the news of Lara's passing," said ISU President Jan Dijkema.

"The entire skating community is in shock and mourning this terrible loss."

Royal Dutch Skating Federation director Herman de Haan expressed great sympathy for her family.

"We feel the pain for her family and the short track team," he said.

"This is hard to comprehend. On behalf of KNSB I want to wish Lara's friends and family strength with dealing with this great loss."

Van Ruijven became the first Dutch woman to win a world title at last year's world short track speed skating championships, claiming the 500m gold medal.

"My dream came true and I can't believe it, I have to cry," van Ruijven had said.

She also won a bronze medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Advertisement