Winter Olympics 2014: Elise Christie advances in short track speed skating as Team GB get back on track in Sochi

Christie was disqualified in the final of the 500m before being judged to have failed to finish in the 1500m heats

A day for getting happily back on track in the British camp. David Murdoch’s curlers snatched a dramatic final-stone play-off victory to reach Wednesday’s semi-finals and the short-track speed skater Elise Christie returned to the ice after her disastrous weekend to secure her place in the later stages of her main event, the 1,000m, comfortably.

Christie won her heat in commanding style, suggesting she may yet banish the nightmares of her first week with a medal come Friday. It was a good day for the Scot, who managed two wins. The race was the second, the first was getting back on the ice.

The abuse she suffered in the wake of causing the pile-up that brought down the Korean Park Seung-hi in the final of the 500m last week came close to causing her to quit the Olympics altogether. Christie estimates she received two thousand abusive messages from Korea via social media, some of which threatened sexual violence. Others called her a “bitch” and a “fucking idiot”.

“I have been down and struggling psychologically,” said Christie. “I came and trained yesterday and found that quite difficult, really emotional, but then I was told about all the support I had from back home. I smiled for the first time in a while when I heard that. I was considering not getting back on [the ice]. 

“I’ve always got that grit in me that keeps me carrying on. But I have been low, the lowest I have felt in my career. I know [disqualifications] come with short track and I have to accept that, but I felt like I had a lot of people against me. My main worry was the next Olympics being in Korea and I was really stressed about that, but now I have the whole of Britain behind me that’s gone. I’m coming back up now. It’s horrible to have abuse on social media.”

Christie crossed the line in the silver medal position on Thursday but was swiftly disqualified. That night the abuse began and then on Saturday she was penalised for failing to cross the finish line properly in the 1500m heats.

Today she skated as well as she had in the early rounds of the 500m. This is the event in which she is European champion and a world championship medallist. She sat behind the other three women in her heat for most of the race and then shot past to win by more than two seconds. She is the third fastest qualifier for Friday’s medal rounds, where she will race against Park again in the quarter-finals.

In contrast to the high-speed dramas in the Iceberg Skating Palace, the action in the Ice Cube, host to the curling, has been a slow burner, at least until today. Murdoch is in his third Games, a former world champion, but he has never produced a shot like the one he sent down the ice this morning to snatch a place in Wednesday’s semi-finals.

Britain came into the final end never having led against Norway – sporting their most colourful trousers yet of the Games, a vivid splattering of red, white and blue as if they had been paint-bombed by Pussy Riot. Norway had a one-shot advantage but Murdoch had the hammer – the final stone of the final end.

He had a choice: take the easy one shot on offer, level the scores and go to an extra end, but with Norway holding the hammer. Or go for glory, a double take-out that if successful would win the match. Miss it and it was time to go home. He did not, and on Wednesday they play Sweden for a place in the final while Eve Muirhead’s rink meet Canada in the women’s semi-finals.

Rowan Cheshire, Britain’s freestyle skier, has withdrawn from Thursday’s half-pipe. The 18-year-old was knocked out in training on Sunday and under the sport’s guidelines requires six days to recover.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada