Elise Christie Returns Home As World Champion

Published 13 March 2017

Elise Christie has dominated at the the ISU Short Track Speed Skating World Championships in Rotterdam, taking place 10th-12th March. She now adds World Champion to her growing list of achievements, the first British woman ever to accomplish this.

On the second day of the event, Christie took the 1500m title, the longer distance that she has been perfecting in training since winning multiple 500m and 1000m world cup titles and the 500m world record this season. She beat Marianne St Gelais (Canada) and Suk Hee Shim (Korea) with a time of 2.54.367 minutes. Reflecting on the 1500m Elise said,

“The semi final didn’t go the way I wanted it to, so I changed my tactic in the final and went out in front to give myself the best opportunity, and that worked out, it’s pretty amazing, especially as I haven’t raced that distance in a year.”

Within an half an hour of winning the 1500m, Elise then returned to the ice to compete in the 500m event, taking control of the quarter and semi finals to put herself in medal contention again. A medal though was just out of her grasp in the final, which was ultimately won by Kexin Fan of China in 43.605s. St Gelais finished with silver, and Ji Yoo Kim of Korea with bronze. Elise still holds the 500m world record of 42.335s and went on to say,  

“It was all or nothing for me in the 500m. I am pretty disappointed as it’s my preferred distance and I put a lot of emphasis on it. I was determined to win rather than settle for a bronze medal. I made that choice during the race and it didn’t pay off. I lost my speed a bit after a bit of a crash with Marianne (St Gelais) and couldn’t come back from that, even though I tried my best. I think I probably would have felt the same disappointment coming 3rd”.

Teammate Kathryn Thomson, 21, continued her good form, reaching the 500m quarter finals but was unable to match the stiff competition from Korea and China today. She finished ranked 15th in the 500m and 41st in the 1500m.

In the men's event, Farrell Treacy and Josh Cheetham finished with overall ranking positions of 47 and 48 in the 500m, and 34 and 31 in the 1500m.  

Team captain, Charlotte Gilmartin, 27, who missed out on qualification in all distances yesterday will return on day three for the 1000m rankings final, looking to put in a good result to conclude her World Championships.

Tomorrow’s focus for Elise Christie will be the 1000m. She took silver in this distance last year and has world cup titles this season. She explained how she feels ahead of the event,

“I have had good results in the 1000m over the past few years so I am really looking forward to it. I feel I am in a win win situation tomorrow as the pressure is off. I came here and did what I needed to do so I can gain from that. I am still going out to win, rather than settle for second best.”

“The support has been amazing, all the athletes came down to watch the main event today and the crowds were really supportive. The team have been working hard to get me back into top shape since having time off”. 

Find out more at GB Short Track: www.gbshorttrack.org.uk

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