Elise Christie trained on Monday with Team GB officials ‘cautiously optimistic’ she will line-up for tomorrow’s 1000m short track speed skating heats, writes Pippa Field in PyeongChang.
The three-time world champion is nursing soft tissue damage to her right ankle after crashing during the 1500m semi-finals, just days after also taking a tumble in the 500m final.
She posted pictures of herself on social media, counting down to tomorrow’s race, including working out on an exercise bike in the Olympic Village.
However, a final decision will not be made until she has trained again on Tuesday morning and been assessed by Team GB’s chief medical officer Dr Mike Loosemore.
“I’m cautiously optimistic and the reason for saying that is she was on the ice today,” said Team GB chef de mission Mike Hay.
“That was purely to see if she could put the boot on and skate around a little bit. She will go through a tougher training session tomorrow.
“If she comes through that – and it’s still a big if – then she will compete tomorrow evening.
“She absolutely wants to, we just need to make sure that medically everything is ok.”
Christie has suffered a succession of disappointments at the Olympics – with death threats after her performances in Sochi four years ago – but Hay insists she is mentally prepared, should she line up in her favourite event.
The 27-year old Scot has a relatively straight forward draw and must finish in the top two of the four-person race to reach Thursday’s quarter-finals, which will give her further time to recover.
“She is a different athlete to four years ago. I’m not sure she could have handled this in the same way then,” added Hay.
“You don’t become a triple world champion without some resilience. She’s got one chance to go and she’s desperate, she’s going to just be determined to make sure that ankle is fit.
“We do dampen expectations a bit because she’s coming back from an injury. Whether she makes it or not is still in the balance. But there’s obviously going to be an element of risk if she does make it too.”
Will Elise race again? Catch the women’s 1000m heats live on Eurosport 1 on Tuesday at 10am. Don’t miss a moment of the Olympic Winter Games at Eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app