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

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.


Saudi showjumpers ride for places in Tokyo Olympics team

Updated 16 December 2019

Saudi showjumpers ride for places in Tokyo Olympics team

  • International exposure key to Saudi riders’ success: Equestrian federation chief
  •  Visitors enjoyed a fun and exciting atmosphere as riders gave their best performances on the field

RIYADH: Saudi showjumpers at this month’s Diriyah Equestrian Festival aren’t just riding to win — they are battling for places at next year’s Tokyo Olympics, the country’s equestrian chief said on Sunday.

“Saudi riders’ participation in international championships is very important,” said Prince Abdullah bin Fahd bin Abdullah, president of the Saudi Equestrian Federation.

“Coming in contact with international riders will provide them with what they need to achieve their ambitions, which we all know are very big. That is why Saudi riders always have remarkable presence on the international level — hard competitors to beat, like the young rider Waleed Al-Ghamdi, who came second in the first stage of the competition.

“We are waiting for the results of this championship to draft the program for the Tokyo Olympics. We have a good chance at winning but, in this sport one can never be sure until the end of the stage. We will always be sure of the self-confidence our riders have, which will be felt as they represent the Kingdom in any competition,” he added.

Prince Abdullah expressed his happiness at the start of the first stage of the International Show Jumping Championship as part of the Diriyah Equestrian Festival

“The success is due to God, the support the sport has from the wise leadership of Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, chairman of the General Sports Authority (GSA)," he said

The festival — which concludes next weekend, Dec. 19-21 — is taking place at Al-Duhami Farm, the equestrian arena built by Saudi Olympic legend Ramzy Al-Duhami and his wife Sara Baban.

In addition to showjumping, the attractions include art and photography exhibitions, cultural activities and a range of cafes and restaurants.

Visitors enjoyed a fun and exciting atmosphere as riders gave their best performances on the field, showcasing their skills and talents.

Diriyah has always been a symbol of authenticity and culture, while entertainment came with its international sports activities characterized by their sophistication, strength and diversity.

Mohammed Al-Mudayfar, owner of the artistic incubator “Resin Art” taking part in the activities, said: “The exhibition aims at highlighting the Kingdom’s identity in line with the festival’s. By participating, I seek to revive the Kingdom’s culture and introduce it to the visitors.

'Resin Art' exhibition is part of the activities lined up during the two-week Diriyah Equestrian Festival. (Photo/Supplied)

“The exhibition includes 60 Saudi artworks. They received huge support so they can showcase them in a suitable manner, in line with this year’s fun and exciting activities,” he added, noting: “Featured handicrafts, paintings and sculptures are all up for sale.  

“We provide the necessary space and materials for any artist that wishes to showcase his work. Supporting young Saudis and talented ones in particular is a national duty that society should sense its importance especially when it is related to our heritage and traditions.”

The activities area had a part dedicated to kids that has educational and entertainment activities such as painting horse heads made of cork.

Another exhibition called “Objectives” managed by 24-year-old Lama Al-Thubaiti offered visitors a variety of jewelry and accessories that could be modified according to their requests. Al-Thubaiti works as a doctor for people with hearing disabilities and has been working to develop her brand for five years now.

“We are very happy with the visitors’ reaction and our presence here is remarkable as we get ready to open our headquarters soon,” she said.  

The activities area also featured a wide range of restaurants, Saudi and international cafes, a photography corner and cultural facilities such as Arabian and historic horse exhibition, engraving, henna and local artists.

Diriyah Equestrian Festival is taking place for the second year in a row to bring the international event to the Kingdom, reflect the traditional values of equestrianism according to European standards. The event will run for two weeks, providing participants with the chance to qualify to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the World Championship.