LIVINGSTON’S short track speed skater Elise Christie today missed out on a medal when she was disqualified in the women’s 500 metres final at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
It was agony for Christie who, this morning became the first female British athlete to qualify for a Olympic speed skating final.
Starting in lane three, after a false start by Korea’s Park Seung-Hi, Christie came flying out but then appeared to cut across the line of Italy’s Arianna Fontana, taking both of them out.
Fontana’s fall also took down Park, leaving China’s Li Jianrou to skate away unopposed to the gold medal at the Iceberg Skating Palace.
Park and Christie picked themselves up and the 23-year-old Scot, whose speciality is the 1000 metres, overtook Park to cross the line second but, inevitably, she was swiftly dropped to fourth place by the judges.
Speaking afterwards, she said: “Basically, I knew if I sat in third the Chinese girl [Jianrou Li] would come at the end. I had the speed so I moved up, but I was hit on the foot and then hit everyone else.
“It was a 50/50 call, but everyone has different opinions. There was a little gap, and I knew I had more speed at that point.
“I used my instinct and went for it. Now I am regretting it.”
And, when asked about the collision, she said: “No, I thought she hit me. I was not sure if it would go my way, I did not think it would be me [to be penalised] but it was. You have to respect the decision.
“I have not watched it back so I cannot comment. During the race, I thought I was in front.
“I was really relaxed as it was not my major event. I will use the next day to get my head back together.”