Elise Christie has today (Saturday 14th March) taken Silver in the 500m at the ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Moscow, Russia for the second consecutive year. She came second only to China’s Kexin Fan, who has dominated in the distance this season.
Christie’s Silver came as welcome news following a tough start to the day when she missed out on a place in the 1,500m final after losing an edge with two laps to go in the semi final.
Christie commented: “I had a bit of a bad start to the day today when I fell in the semi finals – I was disappointed but it’s just one of those things unfortunately and there was nothing I could do about it. That, combined with a difficult few weeks in my personal life, meant that my head was all over the place going into the 500m finals.
“I knew that it was a totally different race though and I still had chance to medal so I was ready for it. I finished top in both my quarter and semi finals but found the final a bit more challenging. Under the circumstances, I’m really pleased with Silver, but I believe that I could have got more out of it if my head was in a different place”.
Christie’s team mate, Charlotte Gilmartin, raced alongside her in the 1,500m semi finals, finishing fourth out of seven and qualifying for the B Final where she took 10th place overall.
Elise added: “Charlotte did so well to finish fourth in her semi final and second in her B Final today – she was up against some of the top skaters in the world and she looked good. There have been some really good performances from the rest of the team this weekend too, and they’ve been unlucky in their races.
“I’m really pleased to have won a medal today for the team and everyone else who has supported me, particularly during this difficult time”.
Stuart Horsepool, Performance Director for GB Short Track said: “I’m really proud of Elise. Despite facing a challenging time, she put in a strong performance in the 500m final and walked away with a medal; we couldn’t have asked for more”.
Jack Whelbourne and Jon Eley raced well in their 500m and 1,500m events today. Unfortunately, Whelbourne received a penalty in his 1,500m semi final so he missed out on a place in the final. In 500m, both skaters made it to the quarter finals with Eley finishing 11th overall and Jack taking 16th place overall.
Horsepool said: “Jack and Jon both had bumps on the start and missed out on a place in their finals. They are up against the best skaters in the world in 500m here in Moscow, so two top 16 finishes out of 40 skaters is still a great achievement as the sport is so competitive and unpredictable.
“The same goes for Charlotte - she placed 10th in 1,500m out of the top 42 female speed skaters in the world and that’s no easy feat. It just goes to show much all of the skaters have progressed this year”.
The men also competed in the semi finals of the 5,000m relay today, with Jon Eley, Jack Whelbourne, Richard Shoebridge and Billy Simms making up the team.
Horsepool added: The men’s relay semi final made for an awesome race today. The men were up against Hungary, the Netherlands and Russia, and we led right from the start. It was a really close race which came down to the last two laps; on the last corner, Jack was in second place on the inside when he unfortunately fell over, resulting in third place”.
The men have qualified for the B Final in the relay, which will take place tomorrow (Sunday 15th March) when the 2015 World Championships will draw to a close. Sunday will also see Elise Christie compete in the women’s 1,000m finals, whilst Jack Whelbourne and Jon Eley will also race in the men’s 1,000m finals.
The GB athletes are all part of the National Ice Skating Association’s (NISA) World Class Short Track Programme.
For a full list of results, go to shorttrack.sportresult.com.
14th March 2015