Elise Christie says: I’ll be back in four years

Elise Christie after crashing out. Picture: PA
Elise Christie after crashing out. Picture: PA
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There was heartbreak for Elise Christie as she saw her Winter Olympic dreams end much as they had begun with another disqualification – her third of the competition.

However, the short track speed skater has already fixed her sights on four years’ time and returning to the ice.

The 23-year-old, previously disqualified in both the 500 and 1500 metre distances, was judged to have impeded China’s Jianrou Li on the final lap of the 1000 metre semi-final as they both crashed.

Asked if she knew exactly what last night’s penalty was for, she said: “Vaguely. I’ve not talked it through with them but he [the referee] said I pushed her over.”

“I always respect the referee’s final decision, and I have to accept it anyway because that is short track, but I don’t agree with it.”

However, she then added: “I will come back in four years and try again though – you can be sure of that.”

Her spirit of bouncebackability was echoed by her first speed coach, Archie Marshall, a former vice-chairman of Sk8scotland, who has competed and coached for Great Britain at five Olympics.

He said: “She’s tough and resilient and has a great family and team around her. Three disqualifications in an Olympic Games is hard for anyone to bear, but I’m sure she’ll come back stronger.

“My abiding memory of her is the first time she took part in an international, The Dutch Open, when she was aged 11 or 12, she fell in every race, but she didn’t let it get her down, she just trained harder.”

Asked how he viewed Elise’s brushes with the referees, he added: “It’s unbelievable. I’ve been involved in this sport for 50 years and have never seen anyone get three disqualifications. It seems she couldn’t win no matter what.”