Scotland’s Elise Christie took the gold medal in the 500m 2 final in a personal and British record time at the first short track speed skating World Cup event of the season in Calgary, Canada.
Christie’s time of of 42.565 seconds beat the previous British mark of 42.651 and defeated Yara van Kerkhof of the Netherlands and local favourite Jamie MacDonald. It was also the second-fastest 500m of all time by a woman.
Comfortably in charge throughout the rounds, Christie said after the final race: “It’s been great to be back here in Calgary. I haven’t had the most straightforward of competitions with a few falls on Friday and Saturday.
“My coaches and support team worked with me and my equipment overnight and the adjustments paid off.
The 26-year-old from Livingston added: “I’m now looking forward to Salt Lake and the next rounds of the World Cup series.”
It was the second British record of the competition for Christie, after the GB ladies relay team broke the 3,000m record on Friday with a time of 4:13.719secs (previously 4:14.570). The team of Christie, Charlotte Gilmartin, Kathryn Thomson and Samantha Morrison finished fourth in the B final to conclude the event but went away with plenty of positives following their record performance.
Team captain Gilmartin said: “We came here for our first competition as a relay team and have exceeded our performance expectations.
“We work well as a group of six women and each brings something different to the team. We’ve learned alot from this competition and know we have more margins to improve.”
UK speedskating performance director Stewart Laing said: “With a gold medal in the second fastest time for a womens 500m by Elise, two British records and seven personal bests from five different skaters, it’s been a successful competition. The team have proved that the hard work and dedication of the summer were worthwhile.”
The World Cup team now travel to Salt Lake City, USA to prepare for World Cup 2 which starts on Friday.