Elise Christie crashes out of speed skating final at Winter Olympics
Winter Olympics 2018 Elise Christie crashes out of speed skating final at Winter Olympics
- Briton hits the ice in dramatic 500m short-track final
- In pictures: the best images from day four of the Games
Britainâs Elise Christie suffered yet more Olympic heartbreak as her dreams of a medal in the womenâs 500m short track speed skating ended in tears after she crashed in a thrilling final.
Precisely four years to the day after the Bri tish short track speedskater had a 500m silver medal ripped from her grasp by a controversial judgesâ decision in Sochi, the 27-year from Livingston was once again deprived of the one thing in her glittering career that has eluded her: a Winter Olympics medal.
This time, however, the pain came in a different way. Christie was in fourth place and still chasing a medal when she fell on the last lap. Understandably she left the track in tears.Winter Olympics 2018: Elise Christie crashes out of speed skating final â" live! Read more
âI was knocked over,â a tearful Christie told the BBC. âI did not fall on my own. When there is five people in a final it does not give you any benefit when someone gets a penalty. It is so tough. I have worked so hard for the 500m. It has been taken away from me. I know it is short track and I am supposed to be prepared for this but it still hurts.â
After a long wait the officials then decided to disqualify the South Korean favourite Minjeong Choi, who looked to have finished second. That meant gold went to the Italian Arianna Fontana, with the Dutch skater Yara van Kerkhof taking silver and the Canadian Kim Boutin taking bronze. Christie, who eventually trudged over the line a long way back, was fourth.
Beforehand Minjeong was the piping-hot favourite. But in short track skating, where riders ping around the track at 20mph, jostling and bumping for position as they do so, the gap between glory and failure is often as thin as the one-millimetre blades on their skates. So it proved.
Christie, of course, already knew this better than most. After all, it was precisely four years to the day that she had risked everything in going for gold in the 500m in Sochi, only to lose it minutes later when she was blamed for a crash that brought down two of her rivals.
The consequences were brutal. Not only was she shunted down to eighth place but she suffered horrific cyber-bullying, with thousands of abusing tweets sent by South Koreans who blamed her for bringing down Park Seung-hi. To make her 2014 Olympic experience even worse, she was later disqualifed in the 1000m and 1500m.
Four years on she insists she is stronger, both physically and mentally. But with the 1500m and 1,000m coming up in the next few days, you imagine that resolve will be put strongly to the test.
As she put it after the race: âI have got a few days to reset and it is still almost a week until my best distance. But right now I just canâ t see living with this feeling. It is out of my control that I got knocked over.âTopics
- Winter Olympics 2018
- Team GB
- Winter Olympics
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