Heartbreak continues for world's unluckiest athlete at Winter Olympics
15 Febrero, 2018, 05:35 | Author: Thomas Hicks
SPEED SKATING WORLD champion Elise Christie suffered Olympic heartbreak once again as she crashed out of her first medal race, the 500m, in a final filled with drama.
The 27-year-old Fontana, who had won four bronze and one silver medal in previous Olympics but never before topped the podium, finished in 42.569 seconds ahead of Yara van Kerkhof of the Netherlands and Kim Boutin of Canada.
Choi, 19, looked to have secured the silver medal in front of her home crowd at the Gangneung Ice Arena, only to be handed a penalty by the judges following a video review.
"I had worked so hard for that moment, but I got knocked over", she told The Telegraph. "I've worked so hard for the 500 and it was taken away from me", she said.
"Even in the semi-final, I got crashed into then and ended up in lane four. I know it is short track and I am supposed to be prepared for this but it still hurts".
Italy's Arianna Fontana secured gold but there was controversy on the rink after South Korean favourite Choi Min-jeong was penalised.
Great Britain chef de mission Mike Hay also backed Christie to come back stronger in her more favoured events, saying: "Fourth place is not where anyone would want to be in an Olympic final but she put it all out there and I admire her for trying to win". 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.
World champion Christie arrived in South Korea as one of Team GB's brightest medal hopes and was hoping to make amends for her triple disqualification at the Sochi Games four years ago. But it's not until next Thursday that she races in the 1000m - her main event.
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. I can reset. It's nearly a week until my best distance. "I can't see living with this feeling".
The Dutchwoman rounded the final bend with both Christie and Boutin chasing her down, and in a photo finish held off the Briton by 4cm on the line.
But between Sochi and Pyeongchang, she said Korean fans "were really sorry for how they treated me" and forgave her. "People became fans", she said.
I don't think I will be taking many positives tonight.
Elise Christie goes in the heats of the women's 1000m short-track speed skating on Saturday morning, February 17 from 10am United Kingdom time at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Pyeongchang. She has tried her best but today wasn't her day. "I won't obsess over the results", she continued. We still have two distances to go'.
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