Winter Olympics 2014: It’s heartbreak No 3 as Elise Christie crashes again and fails to reach final of short-track speed skating

A 'heartbroken' Christie and the Chinese skater Li Jianrou were both penalised for the collision that had swept them out

Elise Christie’s disastrous Olympic Games came to an ignominious end when she was sent sprawling across the ice in the semi-finals of the 1,000m, the event in which she was striving for redemption after two disqualifications.

She picked herself up and crossed the line in third place, outside the qualifying spots for the final and then, as if to kick her when she was down, it turned into an unwanted hat-trick.

A “heartbroken” Christie and the Chinese skater Li Jianrou were both penalised for the collision that had swept them out of what had been a tight race. Christie, who had zipped impressively through her quarter-final, had worked her way through the field as it approached the final stages and, from third place, appeared set to attempt one of her signature wide sweeps around her opponents.

Instead she tried to go up the inside, became boxed in with Jianrou and began jostling with the world No 5. Christie appeared to make the first shove, Jianrou shoved back. Down went the Chinese, Christie went with her – the judges blamed both and penalised both – and that was the desperate end of a desperate second Olympics for the 23-year-old Scot.

“They said that I pushed her over,” said Christie. “The problem with short track is that every referee has a different opinion. I will always accept the referee’s position but I don’t agree with it.”

It had begun so well 10 days ago when Christie advanced encouragingly to the final of the 500m. Short track is a frenetic sport, a mad dash around a tight track where races are won and lost in split seconds, and often by happenings beyond your control. Christie crossed the line in the 500m in silver medal position but within moments she had been disqualified for causing the pile-up that brought down three of the four-strong field. Among the fallers was Park Seung-hi of Korea, whose demise sparked a torrent of online abuse, including threats of violence, directed at Christie.

Christie crashes out and is then disqualified for the third time in short-track speed skating Christie crashes out and is then disqualified for the third time in short-track speed skating (Getty Images) Park had her moment when she went on to win the 1,000m, in which Christie is European champion. The two are friends and Park had appealed for the abuse of the Scot to stop. The volume and vitriol of it unsettled Christie and last Saturday, a couple of days after it began, she made a simple error in the heats of the 1500m to collect another penalty. Her mind was a muddle and she considered quitting the Games.

Instead she returned to the ice for Tuesday’s heats in the 1,000m and qualified as third-fastest for last night’s quarter-finals. Her quarter-final further raised hopes – but not for long.

Jon Eley also failed to make it through to the final of the men’s 500m after finishing last in his semi-final. To the delight of a full house inside the Iceberg Skating Palace, the gold went to Victor Ahn, the Korean-turned-Russian. It was his fifth Olympic short-track gold – three of them for Korea and now two for Russia after he was persuaded to switch allegiance after not being selected for his home nation for the 2010 Games. The Russians, keen to collect as many medals as possible on home soil, gave him citizenship a year later.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power