Elise Christie admitted she had no choice but to accept the referee’s decision once again at the Winter Olympics in Sochi – even if she didn’t agree with it.
Short track speed skater Christie was looking to end her Games on a high in her specialist 1000m, after falling foul of the referee in both the 500m and 1500m.
She looked on course to do just that as she produced a fine skate in the quarter-final but was penalised in the semi-final after a fall.
Li Jianrou of China brought her down on the final bend but both were penalised and therefore not allowed to compete in the B final.
And Christie, who won bronze over 1000m at the World Championships last year, had to accept her fate no matter how much it stung.
“Never in 100 years did I expect to get a penalty for that. I’m confused really. That is the problem with this sport – it’s different referees each time and you have to deal with it,” she said.
“There is no consistency because every referee has a different opinion. I am going to say again, I will always respect the referee’s final decision. I have to accept that anyway as that’s short track but I don’t agree with it."
British short track performance director Stuart Horsepool admitted his frustration and insisted he believed Christie was good enough to win three medals.
"We have to respect the decision of the referee but I don’t agree with it,” he said. “I wish sport was fair because if it was Elise would be here with one, two or even three medals."
Meanwhile, Jon Eley also offered Christie his support after placing third in the B final of the 500m on his third appearance at the Winter Olympics.
"She has had a tough Olympics and my heart goes out to her but I am sure she will be stronger for this and come back in four years time and be a force,” he said.
“I’m very disappointed not to get to the final but I am pretty pleased with the way I have turned my season around.
“The past couple of days I have been skating better than I have ever skated before. I was feeling up for it, I skated beautifully in the quarter-final and it was just a slip in the semi-final cost me.”
- Sports & Recreation
- Elise Christie