Christie underlines Sochi hopes with Euro gold and silver

19 January 2014 / 21:27

Elise Christie is refusing to get carried away after underlining her Olympic podium potential with gold at short track speed skating's European Championships in Dresden.

Christie, ranked number one in the world over 1000m last season, took line honours in her signature event and also joined forces with Charlotte Gilmartin, Alex Stanley and Kathryn Thomson to win relay silver - ahead of three teams who had all qualified for Sochi.

“I had a hard first few days. I skated well in the 1500m, but had a few technical difficulties that hindered my performance," said Christie. 

"Then I fell over in the 500m and that was a hard fall, so I didn’t really expect to make a comeback like I did today. 

"Overall it was all good preparation for Sochi, and getting this practice on my racing will really help me at the Games.”

Relay silver was also the perfect way to end 25-year old Alex Stanley's ten year international career.

“To finally skate to our potential  feels amazing and it was great to go out on a high with a European medal on my final ever race and share this moment with the girls," she said.

"At the same time I’m very sad to retire from the sport, especially after that race because it makes me feel like I want to carry on in the sport. But I’m delighted to go out on that performance as it’s a moment I’ll never forget.”

However, British team performance director Stuart Horsepool insists there is plenty of work to do for the five skaters that will line up at next month's Games.

Richard Shoebridge finished 12th overall, one place ahead of team-mate Jack Whelbourne while Christie finished second overall in the women's classification.

“The four skaters who competed individually here (Christie, Gilmartin, Richard Shoebridge and Jack Whelbourne) have all performed well, however we do still have some work to do before the Games," he said. 

"The Europeans have highlighted a few areas we need to work on, but we can take a lot of positives out of these championships.

“I’m also delighted that Alex (Stanley) has ended her career on such a high. It will be sad to see her go because she’s been a part of the team for a long time, however it was a fantastic end to a great short track career.”

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