Winter Olympics 2018: Elise Christie crashes out in speedskating final as Team GB gold medal hope ends in agony

Christie had her hand clipped by Kim Boutin of Canada, and crashed into the wall as Arianna Fontana went on to claim gold

Tuesday 13 February 2018 13:17
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Elise Christie crashed out of the short-track speed skating final, suffering an agonising repeat of what happened to her four years ago in Sochi.

The 27-year-old Scot suffered in a fraught semi-final that left her starting in lane four for the race of her life.

And the reigning world record-holder struggled to recover from such a difficult position, getting frozen out by the front three and being forced to take a risky inside line. Christie snuck into third place but lost her footing and crashed out, leading to the Livingston-born athlete being taken out of the running and coming home in fourth some 40 seconds behind the leaders.

Italian Arianna Fontana took gold, with Yara van Kerkhof of the Netherlands swiping silver and Canadian Kim Boutin winning a bronze medal. However, Christie felt that she was taken out of the race by Van Kerkhof, although the incident did not appear to be reviewed by the officials.

Christie told the BBC: "Just in my feelings, I was knocked over. I didn't fall on my own.

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"When there's five people in the final, it doesn't given you any benefit when someone gets a penalty. It's tough. I worked so hard for the 500m and it's just been taken away from me.

"Even in the semi-final I got crashed in and ended up in lane four.

"I know it's short-track and I know I'm supposed to be prepared for this, but it still hurts."

Asked if she could come back in her next two events, she said: "Hopefully. I've got a few days to reset. Obviously it's still almost a week until my best distance, so that's a positive.

"Right now, I just can't see living with this feeling. It's out of my control. I got knocked over and that's that."

Christie was disqualified three times in Sochi 2014 and suffered further heartbreak on Tuesday

Christie will, however, have two more chances for glory in the 1500m and the 1000m.

Sarah Lindsay, a three-time Olympic short track speed skater, told the BBC: "She got away fast but obviously it was pretty messy. There is no room for error. There is always contact that you can't do anything about.

Christie was reduced to tears after further Olympic heartbreak

"I feel terrible for her. She is skating so well. She will be so disappointed."

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