Christie bags second medal on return to short track speed skating

Christie bags second medal on return to short track speed skating
By Sportsbeat

13/01/2019 at 20:19Updated

Elise Christie rounded off her solo return to short track speed skating with her 20th European medal after bagging 1000m bronze in the Netherlands.

Not since the 2018 Olympic Winter Games had Christie taken to competitive ice in individual events, with ankle ligament damage in PyeongChang keeping her out of action.

But after bagging 1500m silver on Saturday, the British star will leave Dordrecht with another medal, this time over a slightly shorter distance.

Christie began the 1000m event in confident style, breezing through her heat before taking second place in her quarter-final behind Suzanne Schulting.

It wasn't long until she was back on top again, replicating her 1500m performance to cross the line first in her semi-final, a time of 1:29.610 giving her a favoured lane draw in the final.

And while she wasn't able to add an 11th European Championship gold medal to her collection, bronze to go alongside her opening day silver was certainly not anything to snub.

The 1000m title instead went to Russia's Sofia Prosvirnova in a time of 1:29.045, embracing Christie once they crossed the finish line, while silver went to Tifany Huot Marchand of France.

The Brit came within two tenths of a second from taking the win, narrowly holding off home favourite Lara van Ruijven for the final spot on the podium.

The Christie of previous years may have been disappointed on missing out on the title but, after the disappointments of PyeongChang and the subsequent lay-off she faced, a double-medal haul is one she'll see as a major stepping stone ahead of a busy few years of racing.

"I did not expect to win any medals this weekend," she said. "To pull out a second place in the 1500m is incredible"

The day's other 1000m victory went to Russia's Semen Elistratov, holding off the charge of Hungary skater Shaolin Sandor Liu to take the final individual medal in the Netherlands.

But the home fans were not to be denied their golden moment with the women's quartet of Rianne de Vries, overall champion Schulting, Yara van Kerkhof and van Ruijven skating to relay victory.

The Dutch four stopped the clock in 4:09.396 with silver going to Russia while Hungary picked up bronze four seconds back. Germany prevailed in the B final.

A higher step on the podium came Hungary's way in a thrilling men's relay final, overcoming the Netherlands by less than a tenth of a second in a staggering race for gold.

Csaba Burjan, Cole Krueger, Shoang Liu and Shaolin Sandor Liu did just enough to prevail in 6:54.168, with Russia earning bronze ahead of France, who were penalised.

Sportsbeat 2019