Team GB medal hope Elise Christie left in tears after 500m final crash

Elise Christie was left in tears after falling in the 500m final -- she was looking to make amends for crushing disappointment four years earlier in Sochi. Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images

An emotional Elise Christie missed out on Team GB's first medal of the Pyeongchang Games after she suffered a dramatic crash on the last lap of the 500m short-track speed skating final.

Christie, 27, was in fourth position and pushing for a podium place but slipped off course after her hand appeared to be caught by a fellow skater.

Italy's Arianna Fontana claimed the gold after home favourite Choi Minjeong was disqualified, elevating Yara Van Kerkhof of the Netherlands to silver and Canada's Kim Boutin to bronze.

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.

Drama in the final of the 500m short-track speed skating as Elise Christie crashes out and home favourite Minjeong Choi is disqualified having originally finished second. Italy's Arianna Fontana takes gold with Yara van Kerkhof winning silver. Christie looks completely devastated as she heads to the side where she is consoled by her partner and GB coach. She still has the 1000 and 1500 to go and will have to park this disappointment.

Tom Hamilton, Senior Writer374d ago

Christie eased through the quarterfinals -- setting a new Olympic record in the process -- and finished a close second behind Choi in her semi to book a place in the final earlier Tuesday.

Interviewed on BBC television after her race, Christie burst into tears, saying: "In my feelings, I was knocked over -- I didn't fall on my own.

"When there's five people in the final, it doesn't give you any benefit when someone gets a penalty. It's just tough -- I worked so hard for the 500m and it's been taken away from me.

"Even in the semifinal, I got crashed into and ended up in lane four. I know it's short-track and I'm supposed to be prepared for this but it still hurts."

With two events still to come, including her best distance, the Brit could still claim a medal before the Games draw to a close, but admitted: "There aren't many positives I can take from tonight."

"Hopefully I can come back again and reset," she added. "Right now I can't see living with this feeling."

Although Stewart Laing, Team GB's Performance Director for short-track speed skating, admitted he was disappointed by the result, he revealed the team had made preparations for a such circumstances.

"We have brought our sports psychologist out and we have had this planned just in case," he told the BBC. "We will regroup and refocus. We will give her time to digest but then help her cope with what's happened.

"We go back to some of the processes we put in place. Crucially Elise is in a much stronger place. She is far more robust than last time. She has actually finished the race so it's different to Sochi.

"Obviously none of us wanted it to be written this way but we come back on Saturday in her best event."

Christie was not alone in her disappointment, with the result also leaving South Korea's Choi Minjeong in tears.

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 think they gave me penalty as there was a kind of contact in the end," Yonhap News reported her as saying through tears during a mixed zone interview. "I'm sorry that I failed to meet the expectations and support that so many people gave to me."

"I'm confident that I can get over it. I still have three competitions left. I won't obsess over the results," she continued. "If I skated far better, I wouldn't have hit her. I won't make a complaint of it."