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Christie lets tears flow after further medal misery

By Mark Staniforth

Elise Christie's Olympic agony continued at the Gangneung Ice Arena as she crashed out on the penultimate lap of the women's 500m short track final.

Four years after her triple disqualification nightmare in Sochi, the 27-year-old could not hold in her emotions after sliding out during a brave attempt to edge into bronze medal position.

Tearful Great Britain ace Christie said: "I've worked so hard for that moment and I got knocked over. It's so out of control but that almost feels worse.

"Normally in the final there's only four people, so if you get knocked over you still get a medal by the end of it, but I ended up with fourth place and that's pretty tough to deal with right now.

"I saw the Korean and the Canadian bump so I thought, 'It's time to move', so I've still got a lap to go and that was when winning was on my mind, but I got hit and I couldn't hold it."

After bursting through her quarter-final in a new Olympic record time of 42.703, the seeds of Christie's demise were sown in the semi-finals after she had to settle for second place behind Holland's Yara van Kerkhof.

The relatively slow time meant Christie, never the strongest of starters, was given the unenviable lane four in the final, meaning she was always going to have to switch her front-skating style and attack from behind.

Seeking to seize her opportunity when South Korean favourite Choi Minjeong and Canada's Kim Boudin tangled, Christie darted down the inside but appeared to catch Van Kerkhof and slid into the barriers.

Italy's Arianna Fontana grabbed gold, while Minjeong, who had finished just inches behind, was disqualified for her previous tangle, leaving Christie with the scant consolation of being upgraded to fourth place.

Christie added: "It started in the semi-final because we had a bump and it meant our time wasn't that fast. I ended up in lane four. I knew I'd have to be making moves and my chances of winning gold were pretty slim at that point. When I went down I knew it was over."

The way in which she burst through her early heats had suggested she was finally ready to end her Olympic drought.

She will not have to wait long for another chance as she is due to go in the 1,500m on Saturday, an event in which she is slightly more favoured and in which she is the current world champion.

Meanwhile, Canadian figure skater Eric Radford has become the first openly gay man to win a gold at the Winter Olympics.

Radford (33) took gold in team figure skating with his partner Meagan Duhamel, and said he "might explode with pride" after his routine set to Adele's Hometown Glory finished first.

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