• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Christie frozen out again as day of home hope ends in anti-climax

CELEBRATIONS were due in Sochi last night but hopes of more British gold on the ice quickly melted away.

Skip David Murdoch (far right) admitted his rink of (from left) Tom Brewster, Michael Goodfellow, Scott Andrews and Greg Drummond were well beaten by Canada. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA
Skip David Murdoch (far right) admitted his rink of (from left) Tom Brewster, Michael Goodfellow, Scott Andrews and Greg Drummond were well beaten by Canada. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA

Fabulous Friday? It was more frustrating than anything else.

Short track speed skater Elise Christie was again at the centre of controversy as she was effectively disqualified for the third time in three races, while the all-Scottish curling rink, skipped by David Murdoch, were soundly beaten in their gold medal match against Canada.

Christie lined up in her principle event, the 1000m, knowing a medal would make these Games the most successful ever for Great Britain.

But after qualifying through her quarter-final, she took a tumble in her semi-final and judges decided she had impeded a Chinese rival and disqualified her. It left British team officials fuming and Christie questioning what more she could do.

"We have to respect the decision of the referee but I don't agree with it, in fact it was outrageous," said British short track's performance director Stuart Horsepool.

"I am very angry at the decision because basically the referee is wrong. I wish sport was fair because if it was Elise would be here with one, two or even three medals."

Christie also admitted she was perplexed as to why she had been punished; in fact, she thought she would be advanced to the final.

"I am very heartbroken about the decision," she said. "Never in 100 years did I expect to get a penalty for that. That is the problem with this sport - it's different referees each time and you have to deal with it.

"Every single member of the team is shocked. I don't understand being penalised. I have spent all of this time training and to not be given a chance to challenge for a medal is heartbreaking. I will come back in four years and try again though - you can be sure of that."

Murdoch admitted he was unsure whether he'll be back in Pyeongchang and admitted there were no excuses following a comprehensive 9-3 gold medal match defeat to Canada,

Canadian skip Brad Jacobs is famed for an aggressive style of play, which has won him few friends in the curling community and raised eyebrows among his rivals in Sochi.

However, British coach Soren Gran's decision to make his personal feelings known so close to the final left Jacobs and his rink even more determined. After they raced into a five-point lead after just four ends, Gran probably wished he had kept his counsel.

Jacobs doesn't need much of an excuse to get pumped up and revealed that the comments had he and his team-mates furious.

"I don't think that was the right thing to say before a big final game like that," he said. "It gave us extra motivation for sure and I believe in karma. One of the guys read the comments out to me and what you saw out there was a response perhaps. It was a pretty strange thing to do in my opinion and it backfired."

Gran, who has been credited with giving an extra edge to the Scottish curling programme since his appointment as head coach in 2011, insisted silver remained a great result and Murdoch refused to blame other factors for the defeat.

"Brad's team bring a lot of adrenaline and passion to the game and that obviously works for them," said the skip, who will receive his medal today, a just reward after near misses in Turin and Vancouver.

"It doesn't work for the majority, most people like to stay cool out there but they prefer to be pumped up. You've got to do what makes you perform at your best."

Contextual targeting label: 
Sport

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

214682