Christie takes gold and silver for Britain in Japanposted by: Becky
British speed skater Elise Christie has retained her world title after winning gold at the ISU World Cup in Japan. The victory puts Christie at the top of the world rankings by a huge margin, and gave the 22-year-old her third medal in this year’s world cup series.
The Livingston born skater dominated the competition in the qualifying rounds and won the final by over a second, an unprecedented amount in speed skating. Christie said:
“I’m chuffed because you can be never sure of the result in speed skating until you’re over the line, and it was a big relief that everything went to plan! It’s great to finally have a gold after being so close in the last two rounds.”
She overcame tough competition in the quarter final from the multiple Olympic champion Meng Wang (Korea) and added:
“It was hard going up against her in the quarters. I knew I had to be tactically better than her if I wanted to beat her. I managed to lead out and I managed to executed my race plan well, so I’m really happy.”
The Performance Director of GB Short Track, Stuart Horsepool said: “Elise coped immensely well with the added pressure of being world number one and responded with a dominant performance. The fact she was able to do this is a really good sign because it shows she has the physicality, and now she's really developing her other skills as well.”
Christie followed her gold medal winning performance with silver in the 1500m on the final day of competition. She was only factions of a second behind eventual winner Soyoun Lee of Korea, and said:
“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 at on an world level. This weekend’s been good not just because of the medals, but because it shows I’m still improving, so that’s great.”
There were also top ten finishes from Charlotte Gilmartin in the 500m and 1500m. The 22-year-old from Redditch came second in the 500m B final (6th overall) and third in the 1500m B Final, her highest ever finishes at a World Cup.
Horsepool added: “Charlotte is another one of our skaters showing big improvements. She was annoyed she didn’t do better but to finish top ten in two events is outstanding, and she is taking some big scalps in the process, including double Olympic medallist Marianna St-Gelais from Canada.”
The next round of the ISU World Cup will take place in Sochi, the venue for the next Winter Olympic Games in 2014.
For more information on GB Short Track please visit http://www.gbshorttrack.org/.