UK's Christie crashes out of skate final


Christie crashes out in short-track 500m final
XXIII Olympic Winter Games
Venue: Pyeongchang, South Korea Dates: 9-25 February
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, Red Button, Connected TVs, BBC Sport website and mobile app. Full coverage times

Briton Elise Christie broke down in tears as she again missed out on an Olympic medal after crashing in the 500m short-track speed skating final.

It was latest setback for the Scot, 27, who was disqualified in each of her three events in Sochi four years ago.

Christie, who was given fourth place, told BBC Sport: “I was knocked over, I didn’t fall on my own. I worked so hard. It has been taken away from me.”

Italy’s Arianna Fontana won gold and Dutchwoman Yara van Kerkhof got silver.

Home favourite Choi Min-jeong, who was beaten to the line by Fontana, was later disqualified, handing bronze to Canada’s Kim Boutin.

I was knocked over, I didn’t fall on my own – Christie

On the final lap, Christie attempted to move herself into a medal position but fell over in contact with Yara van Kerkhof.

“Even in the semi-final I got crashed into and ended up in lane four,” said an emotional Christie. “It is short track and I am supposed to be prepared for this but it hurts.

“Hopefully I can come back again. I can reset. It’s almost a week until my best distance.”

Christie’s tactics in the previous two rounds were to move to the front early in the race, but in the final she found herself trailing in fourth.

The Scot was briefly in third spot, but as she tried to hold her line on the final lap her hand came in contact with Van Kerkhof’s boot which resulted in her careering into wall.

The triple world champion goes again on Saturday in the 1500m and that his followed by her favoured event, the 1,000m, which begins on Tuesday.

‘I’m sure she will turn things around’

Elise Christie, who was disqualified in each of her three events at Sochi 2014, suffered more heartache at Pyeongchang 2018

Sarah Lindsay, a three-time Olympic short-track speed skater, said she was confident Christie would still achieve her goal of winning a medal at these Games.

“I feel terrible for her,” she told BBC Sport. “She is skating so well. She will be so disappointed.

“Elise always said she would risk everything. She has tried her best but today wasn’t her day. She still has two distances to go and they are her favourites. I’m sure she will be able to turn things around.”

Lindsay added: “Elise doesn’t really have a filter. You always see the real Elise. It’s good for people to see how much it really means to her. She is absolutely devastated right now.

“We just have to accept the judges’ decision, as hard as it might be. It wasn’t down to Elise’s own skating. She has to take positives from that – it’s not like she hasn’t been skating well. There is a lot of expectation on her but she has to put that behind her and move on. I’m sure she will because she is the comeback queen.”

‘Elise is far more robust than last time’

Stewart Laing, the performance director for British short-track speed skating, said the team’s sports psychologist will help Christie “cope” with the disappointment.

He told BBC Sport: “It all happened so quickly. We haven’t been able to sit down and watch it fully back yet so I wouldn’t want to point fingers. Hugely disappointed but that is the nature of short track. Unfortunately she finishes in that soul-destroying fourth place.

“We have brought our sports psychologist out and we have had this planned just in case. We will regroup and refocus. We will give her time to digest but then help her cope with what’s happened.

“We go back to some of the processes we put in place. Crucially Elise is in a much stronger place. She is far more robust than last time. She has actually finished the race so it’s different to Sochi. Obviously none of us wanted it to be written this way but we come back on Saturday in her best event.”



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