Christie ‘desperate’ to keep Olympic dream alive

Elise Christie is “desperate” to overcome an ankle injury to make a final bid for Winter Olympics glory in Pyeongchang.

Elise Christie (left) crashes out of the Short Track Speed Skating last weekend. Christie is hoping to recover for the 1000m heats. Picture: PA

The 27-year-old will undergo a fitness test on her right ankle this morning to determine if she can compete in the 1000m heats today.

Scans have determined no significant injury and she was exercising on a stationary bike on Sunday in flip flops due to ankle swelling. Christie trained on the ice yesterday.

Great Britain chef de mission Mike Hay said: “She’s just desperate. This is her last of the Games, from the three events she qualified for. I’m cautiously optimistic. She was on the ice today, purely to see if she could put the boot on and skate around a little bit. She will go through a training session tomorrow. If she comes through that — and it’s still a big if — then she will compete tomorrow evening.

“Any time you’ve got an ankle injury and you’re putting that much pressure on it in a racing situation, it’s hard.

“She needs to come through a much tougher training session tomorrow and we’ll see the reaction after that.”

Hay was at pains to make it clear the final decision would be Christie’s and there would be no-one pushing her into competing, as Britain chase a record fifth medal of the Games. “The welfare of the athlete is more important than chasing any medal target,” Hay added.

“She needs to be fit or else she’s not going to be able to compete at the level that she wants to. I guess we need to dampen expectations a bit because she’s coming back from an injury. Whether she makes it or not is still in the balance. There’s obviously going to be an element of risk if she does make it.”

Christie crashed out of the 1500m semi-finals on Saturday evening and went to hospital where her ankle was first scanned.

The Scot was disqualified three times at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and was fourth in her opening event in Pyeongchang, the 500m, after crashing in the final. Asked whether she would receive psychological as well as medical support to aid her fitness bid, Hay added: “I’m not really concerned about that. She is a different athlete from what she was four years ago.

“Any time you become a double world champion in between times, you’ve got some resilience.”

Meanwhile Canada’s Justin Kripps and Germany’s Francesco Friedrich won gold medals after a dramatic dead-heat in the men’s Olympic two-man bobsleigh yesterday. Four-times world champion Friedrich set the fastest time but Kripps, in the final run of the competition, exactly matched his mark of three minutes 16.86 seconds.

“It’s great. It’s two more people who are as happy as we are,“ Kripps said. ”They’re amazing competitors, we’ve been friends and rivals for years so I couldn’t be happier.” Germany equalled Switzerland’s Olympic record of five golds in the event.


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