With less than a year to go until the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games, short track speed skating sensation Elise Christie showed exactly why she is the one to beat as she was crowned World Champion over 1500m.
Becoming the first British woman to ever win a World title, the 26-year-old had previously won eight other Championship medals throughout her career, but the gold was the one that had for so long evaded her grasp.
But she made amends for that in style in Rotterdam as she continues to go from strength-to-strength, having won multiple World Cup titles over 500m and 1000m and breaking the 500m world record already this season.
Christie crossed the line in a time of 2:54.369 with Canada’s Marianne St-Gelais just 0.12 seconds behind, having switched her approach to competition following a second-place finish in the semi-final.
There was little time to celebrate her achievement, however, with the 500m final requiring Christie to get straight back on the ice.
And despite finishing fourth over that distance, nothing could wipe the smile off Christie’s face after seeing her lifetime ambition come to fruition.
“The semi-final didn’t go the way I wanted it to, so I changed my tactic in the final and went out in front to give myself the best opportunity, and that worked out,” she said
“It’s pretty amazing, especially as I haven’t raced that distance in a year.
Writing on Instagram, she added: “Mixed day today. Messed up the 500m, the battle between winning medals and taking risks to win got the better of me.
“However my dream has come true and for the first time ever I’m a world champion, can’t even describe how happy I am!
“Thank you everyone who has helped to get this moment in my career.”
Sunday sees Christie once again take to the ice for the 1000m finals - a distance over which she took World silver in 2016.
And while she admits she has already achieved her goal for the Championships, that doesn’t mean to say she’s averse to taking more silverware home.
“I have had good results in the 1000m over the past few years so I am really looking forward to it,” she said.
“I feel I am in a win-win situation tomorrow as the pressure if off. I came here and did what I needed to do so I can gain from that.
“I am still going out to win, rather than settle for second best.”
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