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Skater Christie crashes out as Scots curlers claim silver medal

Team GB's Scottish speed skater Elise Christie has been left "heartbroken" after crashing out of the Winter Olympics in the most dramatic fashion.

The athlete was disqualified for the third race in a row at the games yesterday as she battled for a place in the final of her favourite event, the 1,000m, in Sochi.

The 23-year-old from ­Livingston, West Lothian, had been denied an earlier silver at the games when she was ruled to have caused a crash in the final of the 500m.

Christie, who won bronze in the 1000m world championships last year, earlier this week deleted her Twitter account following online abuse for a collision that also cost the Korean favourite Park Seung-hi a chance of a medal.

She was then ruled out of the 1500m during qualifying when she was judged to have skated wide of the finish line by just 1cm.

But last night's disappointment was the cruellest blow as she appeared to have been taken out of the race by Chinese skater ­Jianrou Li with a final place in her grasp.

Li seemed to have caused the crash that halted Christie's race and sent the pair tumbling onto the ice, but judges decided to disqualify both skaters, ending any hopes of further medals for Team GB.

Christie's exit came after the all-Scottish curling team, led by David Murdoch, could only win silver when they were well beaten by Canada in their final match.

Choking back tears, the skater said she was bemused by the judges' decision.

She said: "Never in 100 years did I expect to get a penalty for that. I'm confused really. I am very heartbroken about the decision.

"I knew you needed a lot [of mental strength], but I didn't know it would need this much."

She vowed to shake off the defeat and come back stronger in four years' time, adding: "I was finding it really tough and trying to hold myself together for Great Britain.

"I really wanted to bounce back [from earlier Sochi failures] and was so pumped to do it for everyone and for myself. To have the chance taken away - whether I had won a medal or not - is devastating.

"I have been so proud watching the other team GB guys compete and wanted them to be proud of me. I will come back in four years and try again though. You can be sure of that."

Great Britain's curling men had to settle for second place after a 9-3 thrashing by Canada, ending hopes of becoming the first GB men's curling team to win gold for 90 years.

Murdoch admitted his rink had all but lost their Winter Olympic gold medal chance after only three ends against Canada.

Team GB trailed Brad Jacob's team 5-1 after a disastrous start, and lost another point in the sixth before Murdoch put an end to his misery when he called time at 9-3 with two ends remaining. The 35-year-old said: "You have to make sure that you force pressure early and it's not something we did.

"We let them gain confidence, we let them take a two on us early, we didn't get it back and we didn't have a good end in the third and that was the game-changer.

"We were in a lot of trouble and against a team like that - there isn't even a team in Canada that can fight back to beat those guys once they are up. So we knew it was always going to be a Herculean task to get back into it."

However, second place confirmed that Great Britain have at least matched their medal haul from Chamonix 1924 and the man from Lockerbie will have a medal at the third time of asking after falling short at Turin, 2006 and Vancouver, 2010.

Asked about possible mixed emotions on the night, he said: "I'm really proud of the guys for everything we did. Look at the games we won to get into this final and we really got the nation behind us, which was special."

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