DESPAIR AS GB’S CHRISTIE CRASHES
13th February 2018 | Jane Peel, Chief Reporter
It’s heartbreak at the Winter Olympics for short-track speed skater Elise Christie as she crashes out in the 500m final. She’d been tipped to take GB’s first medal.
Christie is the triple world champion but the pressure is on her to achieve at these Olympics after leaving Sochi empty-handed when she was expected to get a medal.
Four years ago she was disqualified in all three of her events – the 500m, the 1,000m and the 1,500m.
She was devastated and even received death threats.
Now, she has crashed out in the 500m final in Pyeongchang after her hand was clipped by the Dutch skater Yara van Kerkhof and she was knocked off balance.
She got back on her feet to cross the line, finishing fourth after the Korean Choi Min-jeong was disqualified.
Christie was in tears as she spoke to the BBC at the end of the race.
The 500m is the 27-year-old Scot’s least favoured distance of the three, even though she’s the current world record holder.
Her previous best Olympic result in the 500m was 11th at Vancouver in 2010.
“It’s obviously really hard to explain, I’ve worked so hard for that moment out there and I got knocked over,” she said.
“It’s so out of my control but almost that feels worse – at least I can go home and think I didn’t make any mistakes but it still sucks.
“I got hit and I couldn’t hold it. I tried my best to hold the corner but we’re going quite fast on these tiny blades and you can’t always hold it and when I went down I knew it was over because I knew they would only penalise one person.
“Hopefully I can come back again. I can reset and it’s almost a week until my best distance (1000m).”
She goes for gold later in the Games in both the 1,000m and the 1,500m with her next race on Saturday 17th February.
One of the highlights of day four was the women’s snowboard halfpipe final.
The unbeatable teenager Chloe Kim proved once again that she is unbeatable.
She’s the second 17-year-old American snowboarder to collect a gold medal at these Games after Red Gerard won the men’s snowboard slopestyle.
Kim was already certain of victory when she produced a near faultless final run, earning her 98.25 points out of a possible 100.
The win was hugely popular among the spectators and not just the Americans.
Kim’s parents are South Korean.
In the men’s halfpipe, Shaun White looks on track to pick up his third Winter Olympic gold medal.
The American, who won Olympic gold at Turin in 2006 and Vancouver in 2010 but was only fourth at Sochi, picked up a near perfect score – 98.50 – in qualification.
Wednesday’s final should be worth staying up for with the top three qualifiers all scoring more than 95 points.
The alpine programme finally got under way after high winds had caused the postponement of the men’s downhill and the women’s giant slalom.
First up was the alpine combined, the event that involves speed and technical events – a downhill AND a slalom.
And, at last, the Austrian Marcel Hirscher has the only thing that had been missing from his trophy cabinet – an Olympic gold.
The best slalom skier in the world took the honours ahead of two Frenchman.
Alexis Pinturault won the silver and Victor Muffat-Jeandet the bronze.
Hirscher is in ominous form ahead of the individual technical races, the giant slalom and the slalom.
He could well win both and will looking for another gold with his Austrian teammates in the new alpine team event.
GB’s cross-country skier Andrew Young didn’t qualify for the knockout stages in the men’s sprint classic.
He finished 45th with only the top 30 going through.
“I thought it went pretty well. But coming off a pretty bad season it was just another bad race. I don’t really know is going on,” he said.
“I feel like I pushed hard and pushed well the whole way through the race but ended up a long way behind.
“That’s just how it goes. I will keep on working and training for the next one.”
He’s next in action on Friday in the 15km individual free.
“I’ve been skiing full time long enough now that I’m used to being able to get over a race when it’s disappointing,” Young said.
“I’ve got the 15km individual to come in three days time. I will have a rest day tomorrow, try and get some energy and then we’ll go for that.”
Highlights coming up on day five……
Snowboard – Men’s halfpipe final with Shaun White from 10.30am (1.30am GMT)
Alpine – women’s slalom with the dominant American Mikaela Shiffrin. Team GB’s Alex Tilley and Charlie Guest both make their Olympic debuts. First run 10.15am (1.15am GMT), second run 1.45pm (4.45am GMT)
Curling – get ready to get for your once-every-four-years excitement from the sport of curling.
The men’s and women’s curling round-robin matches begin with the GB men taking on Switzerland in their first match at 9.05pm (00.05am GMT). The GB women are up against the Olympic Athletes from Russia team at 2.05pm (5.05am GMT).
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