Elise Christie to go with ‘gut-instinct’ on ice

Elise Christie leads the way in a training session while. Picture:  PAElise Christie leads the way in a training session while. Picture:  PA
Elise Christie leads the way in a training session while. Picture: PA
Elise Christie will go with instinct more than instruction as she sets about trying to win short track speed skating gold at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The 23-year-old is one of Team GB’s main hopes of a podium finish in the southern Russian city, not least because of a thrilling performance to retain her European 1000 metres title in Dresden last month.

Speaking at the official press conference yesterday, Christie revealed that tactics may have to take a back seat to gut-feeling when she goes for Olympic glory.

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She said: “I have raced differently this year, the reason for that was the World Championships when I got stuck in the race and wasn’t allowed to do what I wanted to do. So I think the general plan is going to be that I decide myself.

“Me and Nick (Gooch, coach) are not really going to talk about it. I have two simple plans and I will pick one out of the two and hope that is the right one. So I am going with instinct in this one – and then I can’t blame Nick if it all goes wrong.”

Gooch said: “It all depends on who you are racing and what race is it, as opposed to saying this is how I am going to do it or going out and doing the same thing and being very predictable.”

Christie, who moved from Livingston to Nottingham as a teenager to concentrate full-time on skating, believes she is as well-prepared as she has ever been, but insists winning gold may still be beyond her control.

“I was injured earlier in the year but it just made me bounce back stronger,” said the Scot, who is appearing at her second Winter Olympics and who won the individual 1000m World Cup title during the 2012/13 season, which included World and European championship medals. “I have definitely given it my all and I am performing better than I have ever performed. But it is going to come down to what happens on the day and I can’t control that.

“In short track, the whole team is performing and, although we might not have the outcomes to show it, I would have to say the whole team is just as likely to win (a medal).

“I know it doesn’t look that way to the public, but we are all giving it our best. You need to watch all of us, but hopefully one of us will (win a medal).”