Elise Christie crashes out again at Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Vonn finishes 6th

Elise Christie of Britain crashes during her women's 1,500-meters short track speedskating semifinal. (AP)
Updated 17 February 2018
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Elise Christie crashes out again at Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Vonn finishes 6th

PYEONGCHANG: Triple world champion Elize Christie crashed hard into the protective padding on the last corner of her 1,500-meter speed skating semifinal on Saturday and had to be stretchered off the ice.
The British athlete was chasing South Korean leader Choi Min-jeong together with Li Jinyu when Christie and the Chinese skater tangled.
Officials quickly called for medical help and she was stretchered off in tears. There was no immediate information how serious the injury was, but she was moving and fully conscious. Team GB confirmed that Christie was taken to hospital as a precaution and her boyfriend, Hungarian skater Shaolin Liu, told BBC Sport she had not broken any bones and hopes to compete in the 1,000-meter sprint, which starts on Tuesday.
The reigning 1,500-meter world champion was considered among the favorites for the gold medal, having missed out on a 500-meter medal in similar circumstances earlier in the Games. Christie was later penalized and would not have advanced anyway.
Elsewhere, it was also heartbreak for US skier Lindsey Vonn.
The American, generally considered the greatest female ski racer in history, had a bad run in the upper half of the super-G course and had to settle for sixth place, 0.38 seconds behind surprise champion Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic and 0.27 away from the bronze medal position.
At Vancouver in 2010, she had taken the bronze in the super-G and the gold in the downhill. She was forced to sit out the Sochi Games four years ago after tearing ligaments in her right knee. But this time around, the four-time overall World Cup champion — and owner of the most race wins on that circuit by a woman, second-most by anyone — focused afterward on a particular miscue. It arrived in what she called “the last critical section,” about 6 seconds from the end of a race that took the winner 1 minute, 21.11 seconds to complete, just 0.01 seconds ahead of silver medalist Anna Veith of Austria, the 2014 champion.
Entering a jump-turn combination, Vonn allowed one of her skis to lift off the snow too much and swept several feet wide of the proper path, barely clearing a gate.
“I misjudged how I came in there,” Vonn acknowledged. That gave away more than a quarter of a second to Ledecka in the final quarter of the piste.
If Vonn hadn’t done that, she said, “I think I would be on the podium, at bare minimum. I mean, that mistake was really big, and I’m only a couple tenths out of first. So I would estimate yes.”
Before that portion, “I mean, I felt really good. I was like, ‘Yes! I got this. I got this.’ And I knew I had to focus all the way to the finish because of that turn.”
Vonn will now have a few days to gather herself and begin preparing for her best event, the downhill, which is scheduled for Wednesday.


UAE boss Alberto Zaccheroni admits performances have been poor ahead of Socceroos clash

Updated 22 January 2019
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UAE boss Alberto Zaccheroni admits performances have been poor ahead of Socceroos clash

  • UAE boss still under spotlight despite side reaching lasts-eight, where they will face Australia.
  • Hosts struggled to beat Kyrgyzstan in second-round after underwhelming group stage.

LONDON: Having guided your team to the last eight of the Asian Cup, it must seem strange to find yourself on the defensive. But that is the situation Alberto Zaccheroni, right, faced after leading the UAE to a second-round win over Kyrgyzstan.
The hosts were strongly fancied to see off the Central Asians in their knockout clash in Abu Dhabi, but were taken to extra time and the likely drama of penalties when Ahmed Khalil grabbed the winner in the 103rd minute.
The performance added to the impression that the Whites have made the quarterfinals through luck rather than ability. The team has looked far from impressive during the group stage and anything but possible winners overall.
They now face reigning champions Australia — and even the UAE boss admitted they will have their work cut out unless they improve. “I admit that against (Kyrgyzstan) we seemed to struggle with long ball and crosses, and we also had one or two chances to score and secure the game, but we didn’t convert those opportunities,” the Italian former coach of AC Milan and Juventus said.
“We will try to correct all the things that we believe were less positive between now and the quarterfinals. We now have three days to assess our squad and their injuries before we face a strong Australia team.”
Usually when a team reaches the later stages of a big tournament, players and coaches ignore the performance and pretend all is grand — generally with an emphatic declaration that they will win the title.
Zaccheroni’s post-match reaction was anything but bombastic, however. That is not only a pleasant change but also an appreciation that the UAE have been anything but impressive in their march — in fact, more a slow plod — to the last eight.
This is Kyrgyzstan’s first Asian Cup, and they are far from world-beaters. Playing at home with hopes of lighting the trophy on Feb. 1, the UAE should have easily beaten the Central Asian outfit.
Goals from Mirlan Murzaev and a dramatic late equalizer from substitute Tursunali Rustamov canceled out strikes by Khamis Esmaeel and Ali Mabkhouts. On top of that they hit the bar and the post. It took a controversial Khalil spot-kick to win the match, one that left the Central Asians with a bitter taste in the mouth.
“I don’t want to talk about the referee,” Kyrgyzstan coach Aleksandr Krestinin said.
“We leave the tournament with a lot of regrets — we deserved more. It’s our first Asian Cup, but I’m sure it won’t be our last and we will come back stronger.”
There is a sense the UAE cannot play much worse than they have so far, and the hope will be that they can find a good performance in the quarterfinal against the Socceroos. If they are to shock the reigning champions, they will need Khalil to find his scoring boots again.
“Ahmed Khalil is a very good striker, he is one of the best in Asia,” Zaccheroni said of the 2015 AFC Player of the Year.
“When I took over the UAE team (at the end of 2017), he was injured and had not trained for a long time. He has also been injured many times recently and did not play often for his club.
“Nevertheless, he is a very good player, and I have to say that I rely on him a lot. He does so much for the team.”