Speed skater Christie clinches world title

SCOTLAND’S Elise Christie clinched her first overall world title to cap a tremendous weekend at the World Short Track speed Skating Championships in Rotterdam.

On Saturday, the 26-year-old, from Livingston, who battled back from concussion earlier in the season, became the first British woman to claim a world title with gold in the 1500m event.

A second gold on the Sunday, followed by bronze in the 3000m was enought to claim overall victory.

Christie, who suffered a devastating blow in the last Winter Olympics in Sochi, when she was disqualified, said her success justified her decision to mentally refocus on taking risks to win her first golds after eight previoius medals.

She said: “This year I have really changed my mindset, it was win or lose. I risked losing to win, taking each distance one at a time this weekend.

“I have been physically capable for a long time, and I have shown I am mentally ready now.

“Winning the 1500m was a bonus for me, as I haven’t raced that distance in so long,. I don’t think my competitors would have expected that either.”

She added: “The semi-final didn’t go the way I wanted it to, so I changed my tactic in the final and went out in front to give myself the best opportunity, and that worked out.

“It’s pretty amazing, especially as I haven’t raced that distance in a year.”

The only disappointment was a fourth place in the Saturday’s 500m, the event she holds the world record in and had been focusing on.

Christie came back on the final day to beat Marianne St-Gelais of Canada and South Korea’s Shim Suk-hee in the overall standings.

The result is a timely boost for Christie ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea which are just under a year away.

Sky Scholar Christie had been forced to sit out previous events after suffering concussion.