Short track speed skating
The Winter Olympics more than justified its pre-Games description as the ‘theatre of jeopardy’ on the opening afternoon of PyeongChang 2018.
The main action took place at the Gangneung Ice Arena with the short track speed skating taking centre stage. There were four Britons in action with Farrell Treacy, Elise Christie, Kathryn Thomson and Charlotte Gilmartin all in action.
It was Treacy who took to the ice first in the Men’s 1,500m heats. It was always going to be a tough ask for the 22-year-old making his Winter Olympic debut and so it proved as he unfortunately crashed out, thus missing out on qualification. The 22-year-old only began skating in Januray 2017 and will be back next week to compete in the 1,000m heats.
It was Thomson up next who was also making her Olympic debut in the 500m heats. A first lap crash in Thomson’s initial run meant a re-start, but unfortunately the 22-year-old didn’t fare much better second time around as she again crashed out while well-placed in third position.
Triple World Champion Elise Christie followed up in heat 4 and made no mistake in safely booking her place in Tuesday’s quart-finals. A confident and dominating performance from the Scot saw her cruise through in first position, setting a new Olympic record in the process.
Speaking to the BBC after her event, Christie said: “I haven’t been nervous like that for six years! But I got up to the line and I was fine.
“To come back and perform like this in the first event I did want to put a little marker down there and I feel like I did that.”
I’m trying to build into full fitness and have more to come.”
The most controversial race was saved until last, with Gilmartin looking to follow in Christie’s footsteps. However, a three person crash involving Gilmartin resulted in the 27-year-old receiving a tough penalty and ending her qualification hopes. Gilmartin also received a knock in the process but should be fine to take to the ice in both the 1,000m and 1,500m next week.
UK Sport have recently relaunched the #DiscoverYourGold campaign – the nation’s biggest talent search – and are looking for future Short Track champions. If you’ve been inspired by Elise and Team GB then sign up to #DiscoverYourGold today.
Luge, cross-country skiathlon, biathlon
Elsewhere, Annika Taylor also made her Winter Olympics debut for Team GB in the women’s cross country, finishing in 60th position while Amanda Lightfoot ended up in 67th position in the Biathlon.