PyeongChang 2018 Roundup: Day Eleven

Published 20 February 2018

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There was more disappointment for Elise Christie at the Gangneung Ice Arena this morning, as her Olympic dream once again ended in disappointment.

Hindered by a serious ankle ligament injury, she failed to qualify for the quarter-finals of the women’s 1,000m short track speed skating, with a referee's call proving to be the decisive factor.

Though she took to the rink at all was testament to her character and she showed remarkable courage to cross the line second of the four competitors in Heat 5, only to be disqualified for an infringement.

Christie sustained serious ankle damage competing in Saturday’s 1,500m semi-final and in today’s event, following a restart, she sensibly hung back in the early stages keeping out of trouble and protecting her injury. Though clearly impaired, as the class-act of the heat she began to advance through the field and finished the race in the qualifying places.

The last word, though, would go to the judges, who deemed that she had committed an offence, spelling the end of Christie’s Games.

Christie said of her PyeongChang campaign: "I'm in a different place to Sochi. I'm a world champion and a world record holder and I've proved myself but I really wanted to bring it home for Great Britain. It really meant a lot to me and I'm devastated that I didn't.

"I have some ligament damage. I was given advice and told I could choose whether I wanted to race. Obviously there are all these risks and I thought I'm at the Olympics, I've trained years for this, I'm going to give it a go. That's what I did."

Team GB teammate Kathryn Thomson held second place in her heat and looked on course for qualification, but could not sustain her challenge, eventually missing out. Thomson’s involvement in the three disciplines of 500m, 1,000m and 1,500m has been invaluable as she looks ahead to Beijing 2022.

Charlotte Gilmartin put on a determined display, just failing to go through after finishing third in a strong field.

GB curlers step up bid for semi-final place

There was happier news elsewhere within the Gangneung Curling Centre for Team GB’s men’s and women’s curling teams. The men were dominant throughout in beating Norway 10-3, making their intentions known by taking three in the first end. In the fourth, an exquisite final shot by skip Kyle Smith put his team 6-2 up, and after Smith scored a point in the seventh, Norway shook hands to concede the match.

The men lie second in their group, with their final game against the USA taking place on Wednesday.

The women beat Japan 8-6 in a closer contest. Skip Muirhead suffered a shaky start, taking just a couple of points on the first two ends when GB had the hammer. However, she had raised her level by the mid-point, stealing one in the fourth and scoring three against the hammer in the sixth to put Team Muirhead in control.

Muirhead believes the team has the qualities to keep progressing, despite the demanding campaign so far.

She said:  “I feel we had a pretty tough run. Every game has been tough. We were at the wrong end of the inch in a couple of games that could've easily gone our way. And it left us in a ‘we have to win’ situation. It's been really tough, but our experience has been shining through.”

They must defeat World Champions Canada, who have had a faltering group-stage, in their final match tomorrow to guarantee qualification to the semi-finals.

GB women bobsleigh on track for top 10

Penny Coomes and Nick Buckland claimed an admirable 11th-place finish in ice dance today. A score of 101.96 in the second element of the discipline, the free dance, gave them a combined score of 170.32. The gold medal was taken by Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir after a stunning skate in which they set a new world record.

Rowan Cheshire, who spent two years out of the sport following a string of head injuries, showed remarkable character in finishing seventh in the women’s halfpipe ski final, doing so with a score of 75.40.  Gold in the event again went to Canada, through Cassie Sharpe.

The women’s bobsleigh duo of Mika McNeill and Mika Moore are in sixth place with an aggregate time after the competition’s first two runs of at 1.41.72m. Both are Winter Olympic debutants, though finished fifth at the Whistler World Cup in November 2017, the best result for British women in eight years. They lie 0.47s behind current leaders, Germany’s Mariama Jamanka and Lisa Buckwitz, with the medals decided after the concluding two runs tomorrow.

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