Winter Olympics: Elise Christie crashes out of 500m short-track 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 the 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.

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

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'

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.

"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.

After Sochi, Christie suffered online abuse and death threats following a collision with South Korean skater Park Seung-hi.

Laing told BBC Sport: "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.

"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."

'Attack this pain head on'

There were words of encouragement for Christie from team-mates and other British Olympians.

Chemmy Alcott
There was support from BBC analyst and former British Olympic skier Chemmy Alcott
Iwan Thomas
Iwan Thomas, the former sprinter who competed at the 1996 Summer Olympics, told Christie to "stay strong"
Samantha Quek
Samantha Quek, who won gold with the field hockey team at Rio 2016, said that she admired the Scot's focus on winning gold

How the other Brits fared

In the men's short track, Farrell Treacy, who crashed out of the 1500m heats, reached Saturday's quarter-finals of the 1,000m after finishing second in his heat. However, Nottingham's Joshua Cheetham failed to qualify for the next round after finishing third in his heat.

And Scot Andrew Young was 46th in the cross-country sprint classic.

The seven other gold medals on day four

  • American teenager Chloe Kim produces a brilliant performance to take gold in the women's halfpipe
  • Austrian skiing great Marcel Hirscher finally wins his first Olympic title with victory in the men's combined event
  • Kjeld Nuis edges out fellow Dutchman Patrick Roest by 0.85 seconds to win 1500m speed skating gold

Other news lines on day four

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-un praises South Korea for hosting his state at the Winter Olympics
  • Canadian figure skater Eric Radford says he "might explode with pride", after becoming the first openly gay male Olympic champion at any Winter Games
  • Japanese speed skater Kei Saito has become the first athlete to be excluded from the 2018 Winter Olympics for a doping violation.

The action on BBC TV

The Games Today

19:00-20:00, BBC Two and online

14:00-18:30 & 22:30-00:00, BBC Red Button (replays) and online

Olympics Extra

20:00-21:00, BBC Four and online

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