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British speed skater Christie’s Olympic curse strikes again

British speed skater Elise Christie suffered fresh Olympic heartache yesterday in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where she took second place in her 1,000m heat after a wipe-out, only to be hit with yet another disqualification.

The 27-year-old short-track star displayed real grit just to make the race after completing a remarkable return from injury following a weekend smash in the 1,500m semi-finals.

Dubbed Briton's unluckiest Olympian, Christie made only a few metres in the third qualifier when she went flying out after clipping the blades of Hungarian rival Andrea Keszler.

Sliding into the side padding, she looked to be in pain, but to encouraging cheers from the crowd she picked herself up, had her blades checked and lined up for the restart of the race.

The world champion showed no ill effects from the accident, finishing second to Dutch skater Lara van Ruijven.

But the judges dished out two yellow cards, demoting her to last of the four racers, with Pole Magdalena Warakomska inheriting her second place and with it qualification to tomorrow's quarter-finals.

"It just wasn't meant to be," Christie shrugged.

"I might well have damaged it even more," she added of her problem ankle.

She later told the BBC if it hadn't been the Olympics, "I wouldn't have got on the ice".

"I trained all my life for this. It was everything to me. It's done. I don't know, I felt I owed it to Britain. I want to get short track out there.

"It's an amazing sport, but sometimes it does this to you," she added, before committing herself to trying again in Beijing 2022.

Christie had worked miracles to make yesterday's heat after being stretchered off the ice and taken to hospital for X-rays.

The Briton is the reigning world champion in the 1,000m, 1,500m and holds the overall title. But she has been plagued by misfortune at the Olympics.

Christie also crashed in the women's 500m final in Pyeongchang.

And, at the 2014 Sochi Games, she went home empty-handed after being penalised in all three of her events.

After Saturday's spill, The Herald, the best-selling newspaper from Christie's native Scotland, branded her "Britain's unluckiest Olympian". - AFP

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