Christie accepts referee’s decision after 500m drama

13 February 2014 / 14:35

Elise Christie was penalised in the 500m final at the Winter Olympics – but admitted she made an early move to avoid an incident later in the race.

Britain’s No.1 short track speed skater looked glorious in advancing out of the quarter-finals and semi-finals and made a great start in the final.

However, she came together with Italian Arianna Fontana at the second bend with both falling as well as Korean Park Seung-Hi in front of them.

Christie got up and raced to silver but was penalised by the referee for her role in the earlier incident – something she had no choice but to accept.

“The referee has made a decision and I have to respect that. I do respect it, everyone will have a different opinion on what happened but that is the way short track works. When it comes to it, it is out of my control,” she said.

“It is pretty annoying. People don’t normally take hits in the first lap. It is frustrating that the race was kind of over from the start. No one really got to see what they could do out there.

“When I finished I just didn’t know what call was going to be made. When you are in a race doing it, you feel different to what it looks like. I can’t really change it now.”

Meanwhile coach Nicky Gooch, the last Brit to win an Olympic short track medal at Lillehammer 1994, too admitted there was no point criticising the decision.

“The Olympic Games always throws up controversial results. It is one of these things. It is a race – bumps happen – the referee watches the video and they make a call on what they think,” he said.

“We look at it from our perspective and you could argue it until the cows come home it would make no difference. You can appeal it, you can make an official written warning but it is not going to make a difference.”

© Sportsbeat 2014