I'm still improving - Christie
December 4, 2012 16:21 pm
It speaks volumes for the ambition of Livingston short-track speed-skating star Elise Christie that she should pronounce herself disappointed despite a weekend that saw her claim the first World Cup win of her career.
The 22-year-old Christie struck gold in the 1000m in Japan and followed it up with a silver in her less favoured 1500m the following day - but still believes she is heading to next week's World Cup date in Shanghai with something to prove.
"I was a little frustrated because I did all the right things and got beaten, but I'm happy that I've got another distance that I can compete in at world level," she said. "This weekend shows I'm still improving, so that's great."
Christie, who now tops the women's 1000m world rankings by a huge margin after the first four World Cups of the season, is fast emerging as a serious medal prospect for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
And the way she is coping with her new-found status as a big name in the short-track community is another reason why GB performance director Stuart Horsepool believes Christie has what it takes to build on her early success.
Horsepool said: "Elise coped immensely well with the added pressure of being world number one and responded with a dominant performance. It is a really good sign because it shows she has the physicality, and is developing her other skills as well."
The then teenage Christie failed to make the final of the 500m at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver but has improved enormously since and says her new mindset has made the biggest difference.
Christie said: "Since I joined the team, Sochi has been my real goal. In Vancouver I was young and inexperienced and the goal was really to get the experience. But the goal for Sochi is a medal, no question.
"The outlook of the whole team has changed because there are now so many of us who are capable of winning medals. Before, we often had to rely on Jon (Eley), and how well he did basically reflected on the whole team.
"Other teams used to go out and assume they would beat us but now I think it's more, 'oh no, we have to race them'. It's a good feeling because, while we're not top of the world yet, that's where we're heading."
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