Winter Olympics: Elise Christie qualifies for 500m short-track quarter-finals

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Elise Christie reaches short-track quarter-finals

British short-track speed skater Elise Christie qualified for Tuesday’s 500m quarter-finals after she won her first race at the Pyeongchang Games.

The 27-year-old, who is seeking her first Olympic medal, finished in 42.872 seconds, ahead of China’s Chunyu Qu.

Scotland’s Christie will also compete in the 1,000m and 1500m later in the competition.

Briton Farrell Treacy fell in his 1500m heat and Kathryn Thomson suffered the same fate in her 500m heat.

Their team-mate Charlotte Gilmartin was involved in a three-skater collision during her 500m race. The English skater, 27, eventually crossed the line, but was later disqualified for causing the crash.

Christie proves her point

Christie is one of Britain’s biggest medal hopes at these Games. After making her Olympic debut at Vancouver 2010, she was expected to win a medal at Sochi 2014, but suffered triple disqualification – in the 500m, 1,000m and 1500m.

She goes again in all three disciplines, and hopes to make amends for her disappointment of four years ago.

“I’m not going to lie, I don’t think I’ve been as nervous as that for about six years,” she told BBC Sport. “I think because everybody back home has been so excited to see me skate again, I thought, ‘maybe I can’t do this.’ But I did.

“Racing hasn’t gone well this year because of injuries so I wanted to put a statement out there to say, ‘I’m back, I think I’ve showed them’.

“My best race is the 1,000m so I’m trying to build into that really. I’m not quite at full fitness yet. I just want to get it done and go out there and do it again. I feel quite good. It’s going to be tough though. It’s about getting the preparation in between done properly.”

Bad day for Nicholls

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Jamie Nicholls crashes out in second slopestyle qualification run

British snowboarder Jamie Nicholls failed to make the slopestyle final after falling in his second run, as day one of the 23rd Winter Olympics got under way in Pyeongchang.

Nicholls, the first Team GB athlete in action, gambled on a big jump following a low score of 71.56 in his first run.

“I was gutted to see 71,” he told BBC Sport. “I wasn’t happy with it.”

Team-mates Billy Morgan and Rowan Coultas also fell in their second runs and failed to qualify, finishing 10th and 18th respectively in heat two.

California-born Briton Annika Taylor finished last out of 60 in the women’s 7.5km + 7.5km skiathlon.

Day one medal events: Five

  • 10:00-13:00: Short-track speed skating – men’s 1500m
  • 11:00-12:50: Long-track speed skating – women’s 3,000m
  • 11:15-12:45: Biathlon – women’s 7.5km sprint
  • 12:35-14:20: Ski jumping – men’s normal hill individual final

Other news headlines on day one

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Winter Olympics 2018 opening ceremony best bits
  • The South Korean government has launched an investigation into a possible cyber attack during the opening ceremony. What organisers describe as non-critical parts of the internal systems went down 45 minutes before the ceremony began, affecting the phone and internet services, but it did not impact on the ceremony.
  • Cases of norovirus have risen to 139 but organisers claim the outbreak is under control.
  • Figure skater Yuna Kim, who lit the Olympic cauldron, said it was an “unforgettable experience”. Speaking in Korean she revealed she had been nervous because there had only been one rehearsal and she was worried about falling over.

Brit-watch – still to come

  • 10:10-13:20: British sliders will return to an Olympic luge track for the first time since Vancouver 2010 with Adam ‘AJ’ Rosen and Rupert Staudinger competing in the opening runs.
  • 11:15-12:45: Biathlete Amanda Lightfoot contests the 7.5km event.

This evening’s BBC coverage

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The Winter Olympics – where sport, science and humanity collide

The Games Today – 19:00-20:00, BBC Two and online (19:30-20:30, BBC Two NI)

Olympics Extra – 20:00-21:00, BBC Four and online

Day two live coverage – 23:50-06:00, BBC One and online (01:20-02:00, BBC One Scotland)

Winter Olympics: Elise Christie qualifies for 500m short-track quarter-finals

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