Sochi 2014: GB's Elise Christie loses Olympic silver after penalty

Elise Christie missed out on an Olympic medal after receiving a penalty as the women's 500m short track skating final descended into chaos at Sochi 2014.

Christie, Italy's Arianna Fontana and South Korea's Park Seung-hi collided early in the race.

Elise Christie profile

  • Born: 13 August 1990
  • Career background: The Scot began as a figure skater before taking up short track aged 12. She moved to Nottingham aged 15 to train full-time at the National Ice Centre
  • Career Highlights: First British woman to win a World Championship medal in short track when she took 1,000m bronze in Hungary last March
  • Two months earlier, she won gold in both the 1,000m and 1500m at the European Championships in the Swiss city of Lausanne
  • Did you know? She can play Edvard Grieg's In the Hall of the Mountain King  (perhaps better known as the theme tune of a well-known British amusement park)

The Scot, 23, recovered first to cross the line behind China's Li Jianrou for silver, but was penalised for causing the crash and demoted to eighth.

"I didn't think it would be me [who would be penalised]," said Christie.

Holding back tears, she told BBC Sport: "I had the speed so I moved up, but I was hit on the foot and then hit everyone else.

"I used my instinct and went for it. Now I am regretting it.

"You have to respect the decision."

Christie's preferred discipline at the Winter Games, the 1,000m, takes place next week.

"I was really relaxed as it was not my major event," she said. "I will use the next day to get my head back together."

Reaching the final four of the Olympic 500m had been an unexpected bonus for Christie, who had never before reached a senior final over that distance.

Christie 'regrets' going for win

But as she tried to overtake her rivals on the inside of the straight, she failed to make her move in time and collided with Fontana and Park.

The penalty saw Christie demoted to below the four 'B' finalists, and elevated Fontana to silver ahead of Park.

Charlotte Gilmartin had earlier gone out in the 500m quarter-finals, while GB trio Jon Eley, Richard Shoebridge and Jack Whelbourne all went out in the men's 1,000m heats.

Whelbourne, who twisted his ankle while racing in Monday's 1500m final, competed at "nowhere near 100% fitness", according to British coaching staff.