History Repeats Itself As Speed Skater Elise Christie Crashes Out In Final At Winter Olympics

In the four days before she opens her next quest for gold in the women’s 1,500m, Christie will lean heavily upon the counsel of her mother, Angela, who has travelled to Korea, as well as her friend and room-mate in the athletes’ village, Charlotte Gilmartin. She has already been through what the British team like to call “scenario training”, preparing to adapt psychologically to every situation, from three medals to three crashes. But after a run of fortune as rotten as hers, the mental turmoil threatens to make any of these hard-and-fast rules redundant.

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Christie comes a cropper Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

Stewart Laing, Britain’s short-track performance director, said last night: “Unfortunately, Elise has finished a soul-destroying fourth, but we have brought our sports psychologist out to help her deal with it. We will give her time to digest the disappointment and then help her to cope with what has happened. Eventually, we will watch the video of this race from a technique perspective, see what was going on in the corners, how the skating lines were set up for the overtakes. Crucially, Elise is much stronger than she was in Sochi.”

There could, difficult as it might be for Christie to realise now, a cathartic ending to all this anguish. Famously, the fearsome Austrian skier Hermann Maier won two gold medals at the Nagano Games of 1998 despite having wiped out spectacularly in his first event, the downhill. Christie has nothing like the same physical scars to overcome and the enjoys the luxury of three days’ recovery. Her greatest challenge, surely, will lie in not giving succour to the demons in her head.

Even her adversaries are not oblivious to her extraordinary sequence of Olympic dismay. Italy’s Arianna Fontana, the eventual winner, said: “I’m sure she will use this, I don’t want to call it failure exactly, but this feeling to perform better in her next races.” Somewhere in the wreckage of her thoughts after this latest heartache, Christie needs to summon the conviction that it is the struggle that could ultimately make it all worthwhile.

Her semi-final struggle meant Christie had to start the final in the unfavourable fourth lane and she paid the price, although she will get her second chance to win a medal in the 1,500m on Saturday.



Was Christie's hand knocked?

We're watching replays of Christie's fall. It appears that her left hand was caught by an opponent and caused her to lose balance. It doesn't matter. The race has gone. There's no right of appeal. 

I need a lay down after watching that speed skate final. Gutted for Elise too. And then there’s a DQ....so much drama

— Dai Greene (@DaiGreene) February 13, 2018
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Christie crashes into the barrier Credit: Getty Images



A tearful Christie talks

In my feelings I was knocked over. When there's five people in the final it doesn't give you any room. I've worked so hard for the 500m, in the semi-final I got crashed and ending up in lane four. It hurts. 

I've got a few days to reset, it's a week until my best event.


Reaction from the experts on Christie

Briton's speed skater Sarah Lindsay:

She had a good start, she was aggressive, it was pretty messy. There's no room for error. There's always contact, there's bits and pieces you can't do anything about. I feel so bad for her. 


Dramatic scenes!!

Choi Minjeong, the local favourite, has been disqualified. She's out of the medals. The officials clearly saw an infringement during the race. It mean's Canada's Kim Boutin is promoted to the bronze medal. Holland's Van Kerkhof takes silver. 


It's a photo finish for gold

Italy's Arianna Fontana is the Olympic champion. She nicks the gold from Korea's Choi Minjeong. 


Disaster for Christie as she slides off in final

Christie is back in fourth after the first lap.  She tries to make inroads on the inside but isn't having much luck. There's some jostling up front. She tries her luck on the bend on the third lap, but she crashes to the ice and slides to the barrier. Her Olympic dreams have gone up in smoke again. It's heartache again for Christie. She eventually crosses the line in fifth place. 


Ready for the off

The skaters are on the ice. Christie gets a decent response from the crowd. She looks relaxed as she puts on her helmet. Four and a half laps to go for a medal. Oor er. Here we go.


Here's the final line-up and lanes

1, Choi Minjeong, Korea

2, Arianna Fontana, Italy

3, Yara van Kerkhof, Holland

4, Elise Christie, Britain

5, Kim Boutin, Canada


Can Christie make history?

Here we go then, can Christie deliver only GB's second medal in short track speed skating - ever.

The last Briton to top the podium was Nicky Gooch who claimed bronze in 1994.  We're a little over five minutes from the final.

Sport is sometimes not fair, not nice and unhappy. If ever there was a TeamGB athlete who deserves a medal its @Elise_Christie. But it doesn't work like that. The occasional cruelty of it has to be part of it & keeps us all coming back. But this time ... please, this time.

— Matthew Pinsent (@matthewcpinsent) February 13, 2018



What the expert thinks

Three-time Olympic short track speed skater Sarah Lindsay has predicted a "messy" final.

She will have to do some work to get to the front. She proved in the quarter-final she can overtake but it could get messy!

.@Elise_Christie is through to the final! ��

Just one more hurdle stands in her way. Come on Elise! �� ��#WeAreTheGreatpic.twitter.com/wpk1a4pFNP

— Team GB (@TeamGB) February 13, 2018



All to do for Christie in final

So we have our five finalists for the 500m short track. Christie will have it all to do from lane four with Korea's Choi Minjeong starting on the inside track. 

The final will be at 12.09GMT. Will Christie be able to deliver Team GB's first medal?


Christie pipped to post in semi

Ooh er. Christie is pipped to victory in her semi-final by just four centimetres of a blade. Holland's Van Kerkhof takes the win ahead of Christie while Canada's Boutin has also booked her spot in the final. 

Christie draws lane four in the final. 


Christie goes in semi-final

Christie settles into second spot again as she did in her quarter-final, she's forced wide during the second lap but keeps her composure while an opponent goes skidding off. It's so close out there between the three skaters left competing. Christie may well have nicked it on the line. We wait for the verdict. 


Christie's Olympic record has gone

Choi Minjeong has set a new target for the Briton.


Semi-final No 1

The wait goes on for Christie who has to wait on the bike as the first semi-final takes place. Italy's Fontana looked to be on course to win her semi only for Korea's Choi Minjeong to pass on the final lap and secure the victory.


Warm-ups under way

Christie is back on the bike, going through her warm-up, checking her phone, no doubt reading words of encouragement and support as she gears up for her semi-final. 

I wanna try short track speed skating

— Dina Asher-Smith (@dinaashersmith) February 13, 2018



Christie in second semi-final

So Christie will race in the second semi-final at 11.13GMT. She'll go up against Canada's Kim Boutin again as well as China's Chunyu Qu and Holland's Yara van Kherkof.


What the pundits made of Christie's run

Fellow speed skater and compatriot

Sarah Lindsay was impressed with Christie's dominance in her quarter-final: 

Although Elise Christie didn't get out in front she had so much speed. She was building it up and didn't worry about people behind her. She went through completely cleanly with lots more speed and it was a perfect execution of an overtake.

It is all about confidence for Elise. She knows she has more speed after being behind someone in the race. There was no panic, no rush. She trusted her instincts.


Christie the fastest qualifier

It's all good so far for the Briton who was the fastest qualifier from the quarters. It secures her an inside starting spot for the semi-finals which will take place in just under an hour's time. 


New Olympic record for Christie

It is indeed an Olympic record time for Christie of 42.703. Canada's Kim Boutin qualifies in second. 

.@Elise_Christie cruises through to the semi-final ⚡

Catch her in the next round at 11.11 ⏰#WeAreTheGreatpic.twitter.com/I4EocD0HzI

— Team GB (@TeamGB) February 13, 2018



Christie books semi-final spot

Christie settles in to second place, passes on the inside to take the lead during the second lap. She's got clear ice in front of her with Canada's Kim Boutin right behind her. There are a couple of fallers as they cross the line, but thankfully Christie is not one of them. Christie looks to have set another Olympic record. Just waiting on time to be confirmed.


Christie time

Here she goes. She's away first time.


Hold up to proceedings

Christie's heat is just being held up by a minute or so after a Canadian skater is disqualified in the first quarter-final. The fastest two from each quarter qualify for the semi.


Christie's illustrious CV

Christie's Sochi nightmare aside, the 27-year-old has an impressive CV boasting a number of world titles and records. The only thing missing is that Olympic bling.

Christie's achievements:

Reigning three-time world champion

12 x World Championship medals

10 x European titles

17 x European Championship medals

1000m World Cup title

500m world record-holder


Christie on rewriting her Olympic memories

Before Christie headed out to South Korea, she spoke to Telegraph reporter Ben Bloom on how she wants to be remembered for who she is, rather than the skater who cried on national TV.

Here's a snippet:" data-reactid="210">Here's a snippet:

“I want to be known for who I am rather than because of something that happened.

“Obviously I went through some bad stuff, but everyone does.

“Not many people get to see the fact that I’m a world champion, or the type of person it takes to do that after everything that has gone wrong.

“Everyone just remembers what did happen and maybe me crying on screen. I’ve got no regrets about crying on screen because I put everything into this and it does make me emotional to lose.

“I’d just want people to know who I really am.”


Speed skater Christie goes for glory in short track

Morning all. Elise Christie gets her chance to claim an elusive first Olympic medal when she resumes her 500m campaign today.

The 27-year-old Scottish skater is one of Team GB's best hopes for a medal in Pyeongchang and went some way to putting her Sochi nightmare to bed with a dazzling performance in the preliminary round on Saturday.

If you need a recap on what happened to Christie four years ago, the short speed track skater was disqualified in all three of her events and suffered online abuse and death threats after she collided with a South Korean opponent.

Christie has a chance to write a happy chapter to her ongoing Olympic story by clinching a medal in the first of three distances she is competing in. Christie goes for glory in the 500m and will compete in the 1,000m and 1500m later in the week. 

Today, her biggest challenger looks set to be home favourite Minjeong Choi. Christie's quarter-final is scheduled for 10.02GMT, the semi-finals at 11.11 and the final is due to get under way at 12.09. So stay tuned as we bring you the latest. Will Christie bring home Team GB's first medal of these Games?

Source : https://sports.yahoo.com/elise-christie-bids-team-gb-094444387.html

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