There was further Olympic disappointment for Elise Christie as she finished in fourth place in the final of the women’s short track speed skating 500m.
She had begun the day promisingly by breaking the Olympic record in the quarter-finals to qualify in first place. However, she was edged into second-place in the semi-final meaning she was disadvantaged by starting in lane four in the final. Amongst a crowded field of five competitors, Christie emerged fourth at the first bend after a chaotic beginning.
She fought valiantly to get back into medal contention, however, with the event lasting less than three-quarters of a minute, she was always playing catch-up. This eventually proved costly with a clip to her hand by the Netherland’s Yara van Kerkhof contributing to her falling on the final lap.
Gold went to Arianna Fontana of Italy in a time of 42.569.
Christie competes in two more events and has another medal chance in the 1,500m on Saturday. Qualifying for her best distance, the 1,000m, also begins next Tuesday with the final on Thursday 22nd February.
There was good news for teammate Farrell Treacy, making his Winter Olympic debut, in the 1,000m. A composed performance saw Treacy qualify for Saturday’s quarter-finals, finishing second in his heat. Josh Cheetham, however, did not manage to progress in the same event.
Team GB skeleton shape up well
GB’s skeleton team continued their encouraging build-up to their campaign. In official training ahead of the women’s event on Friday and Saturday, Laura Deas was quickest in the field in the third run in a time of 51.96s with Lizzy Yarnold fastest in her session, nine-hundredths of a second behind her compatriot in 52.05s.
Both came through UK Sport’s Talent ID programme Girls4Gold in 2008, and Yarnold is current Winter Olympics women’s skeleton champion.
In men’s training, Dom Parsons ended the second session of the day in fifth, with Jerry Rice in fourteenth.
Campaign begins tomorrow for Team GB curling
The British curling teams get their Olympics underway tomorrow in the group stages, with both teams in the reckoning for a medal. The women will go into the competition with confidence following Scotland’s bronze medal at the 2017 World Championships. They face the Olympic Athletes from Russia at 11:05 on Wednesday morning. The men, current Olympic silver-medal holders, play Switzerland at just past midnight before facing reigning Olympic champions in Canada.
There will be further British involvement in the women’s slalom, with both Alex Tilley and Charlotte Guest competing in the final. Amanda Lightfoot features in biathlon’s 15km individual women’s medal race.
Further Day Four highlights
Elsewhere, winter sports’ big names lived up to their billing. Austria’s Marcel Hirscher’s long wait for a Winter gold ended when he won men’s combined skiing in an aggregate time of 2m 6.52s.
Seventeen-year-old snowboarding prodigy Chloe Kim took gold for America in the women’s halfpipe with a sensational top score of 98.25, and Canada topped the podium in curling’s mixed doubles.
If you’re aged 14 – 16 and think you have what it takes to be a future Olympian in short track speed skating or skeleton, follow the link here and #DiscoverYourGold