By Neil Leverett
- Elise Christie’s Olympic jinx continues in the 1500m, crashing out, after earlier heartache in the week
- Race against time for Scot to recover for Tuesday’s 1000m heats
- XXIII Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea run until February 25
PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA – Elise Christie’s Olympic hoodoo continues after crashing out and being hospitalised as a precaution with injury on the final corner of her semi-final in the Women’s 1500m short-track speed skating at the Gangneung Ice Arena.
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Christie again crashes out
Great Britain’s Elise Christie’s Winter Olympic hoodoo continued after the Briton crashed out on the final corner of her 1500m short-track semi-final after tangling with China’s Li Jinyu, subsequently being penalised for infringement as the Chinese was advanced.
As the Scot crashed out for the second competition running, the bigger concern is now for skater’s physical rather than mental state, having been stretchered off the Gangneung Ice Arena, with just three days until Christie’s final and favourite event of the 1000m on Tuesday.
Having been taken to hospital, the initial prognosis in unknown but it is suspected that the Brit sustained a cut to her leg or foot, with now a race against time to line up in the 1000m heats.
The final was eventually won at a canter by home favourite Choi Minjeong
Composed berth into semis
Gliding back onto the ice for the first time since Tuesday’s 500m final where Christie crashed out, the Brit lined up in heat five keen to once more find her feet once more on the ice with just two more chances to break her Winter Olympic hoodoo.
The Scot was cautious around the 14 and a half laps of the Gangneung Ice Arena, and seemed happy to bide her time to let the race pan out.
Lying in fifth spot, there might have been a few twitching nervously in the GB camp, but with four laps to go Christie moved in on the inside to third and then swung around to the outside, gliding into the lead through the field
Taking control of the remaining laps the Briton ensured she cross the line – after failing to in Sochi four years ago – to win her heat and qualify for the semi-finals.
Luck again deserts Briton
Christie was drawn in the semis’ with Korea’s Choi, who knew – like the Briton – the sharp hand of officiating having been penalised after initially winning the 500m final earlier this week.
Both skaters were the favourites to advance to the final, but with just two to progress little was certain. Christie was again left a little toward the back of the pack, but again made her move in the closing laps.
With just two to go, the Brit was sitting in second but was being hounded by Li. Into the final 111m metres of the circuit the Scot tried to take the outside line to use the slip-stream, but was taken on the inside by the Chinese athlete.
Trying to regain the final spot, Christie rounded the final bend but tangled with Li as both women crashed to the barriers. Again it was disaster for the triple World champion.
Christie was perhaps correctly relegated, but the greater concern was for the striken Brit, in some discomfort having fallen heavily. Also emotionally distressed, Christie was helped to a stretcher unable to leave the ice as a shell-shocked crowd watched on.
With the Briton taken to hospital as a precaution, the news could now get worse for the GB skater possibly being robbed of the chance to go in her favoured race in less than 72 hours time. For Christie – further disappointment aside – time is ticking to be fit for Tuesday.
The Women’s 1000m short-track heats take place on Tuesday February 20th at 10 am UK time at the Gangneung Ice Arena in PyeongChang.
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