Speed-skater Elise Christie primed for world title bid

By Jane LewisBBC Scotland
Elise Christie
Elise Christie returned to Sochi, the scene of her 2014 Winter Olympics disappointment, and won four gold medals in the European Championships

Elise Christie goes into this weekend's Short-Track Speed Skating World Championships in Seoul fresh from winning four European golds in January.

Christie, originally from Livingston but now based in Nottingham, impressed in Sochi, winning the 500m, 1,000m and 1500m events, plus the overall title.

"Now I've shaken it up a bit, the Koreans might be more aware of what I'm doing, so it is going to be harder," the 25-year-old said of the hosts.

"Hopefully I can get a good result."

In the run-up to the European Championships, Christie was persuaded by her coach to change her racing style fairly dramatically, with speed key.

"I was changing my racing skills and trying new things," she told BBC Scotland.

"I was not brave enough before as it takes a lot more energy to race like that. Normally I end up with the speed at the end and I can't do anything with it because I'm in the wrong place. It was a lot harder on my legs."

The change in style worked wonders during the European Championships, and she is aware of the extra expectation as she targets a first world title at the event in Seoul, which starts on Friday.

"I feel pressure constantly in training. I think that is elite sports and part of being at the top of a sport," she said.

"You have to be able to deal with that and I think it's who deals with it the best who comes out the best in the end."

Christie has been part of the elite skating group in Nottingham since she was 15 and says she thrives on the in-house competition.

"We do push each other every day. Some people are pushed because of their ego, it's more friendly with others, with some challenging against each other. Everyone is different.

"I'm probably one of the ego-driven ones, unfortunately, and I normally fight with the boys.

"But it still helps if I'm trying to fight with them on the ice. They'll get faster because they want to keep me back there, and they're pulling me on at the same time.

"We all want each other to win as well, we don't want to get beaten by each other at the same time so you drive each other on."

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