Britain's Elise Christie says she was knocked over in speed skating final

By Alex Butler  |  Feb. 13, 2018 at 11:24 AM
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Feb. 13 (UPI) -- British Olympian Elise Christie says she was knocked down before crashing Tuesday in the women's 500m short-track speed skating final in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Christie, 27, finished in fourth place in the event. Italian Arianna Fontana won the gold medal with a time of 42.569. Yara Van Kerkhof of the Netherlands and Kim Boutin of Canada won silver and bronze medals, respectively.

The British speedskater was going around a turn when she placed her left hand on the ice. Yara Van Kerkhof came up from behind her left shoulder and tried to pass. Instant replay appears to show Yara Van Kerkhof getting very close to Christie's left hand, and maybe even grazing it with her skate in a kicking fashion.

"In my feelings I was knocked over, I didn't fall on my own ... I've worked so hard for the 500 and it's been taken away from me," Christie told the BBC after the race.

Christie's crash was a bit ironic. She won a silver medal at the 2014 Winter Games, before being disqualified for her involvement in a crash that took out Park Seung-Hi.

China's Li Jianrou and Great Britain's Elise Christie fall during the short track ladies 1000m event during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Photo by Maya Vidon-White/UPI

"It's so out of my control but almost that feels worse -- at least I can go home and think I didn't make any mistakes but it still sucks," Christie told ESPN UK.

Christie looked primed for the podium again in Pyeongchang after breaking an Olympic record in qualifying. She'll have another chance to medal in the 1,500m finals on Saturday and the 1,000m finals on Feb. 22.

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