Christie reeling from double blow
7:25pm Saturday 15th February 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Short-track speed skater Elise Christie faces a battle to lift herself for a final tilt at an Olympic medal after falling foul of race officials for the second time in three days and revealing that she received threatening messages on social media.
Christie, already reeling from her disqualification in Thursday's 500m final, suffered another crushing blow when the judge for her 1500 metres heat ruled that she had skated inside the finish line and had therefore not completed her race.
The mistake was spotted as the judge examined the photo finish picture for Christie and Italy's Arianna Fontana.
Christie, fighting back the tears,said she was "gobsmacked" by the ruling and then revealed what she had been forced to cope with since her 500m disqualification.
''I have had a few people threatening me,'' she told the BBC. ''It's been a tough few days. I'm finding it quite hard."
GB short track coach Nicky Gooch, explaining the DNF ruling, said: ''The referee has said Elise didn't cross the line. She has crossed inside the finish line and he has ruled that that is off-track. Therefore he's saying she hasn't finished the race. I was shocked. I looked at the video and you're talking centimetres.''
Gooch is concerned that Christie's traumas in the 500m and 1500m will weigh heavily on her as she prepares for her favoured 1000m event, which start with heats on Thursday at the Iceberg Skating Palace.
''I think she'll find it really hard to come back and she'll feel a lot of pressure for the last distance. I know she was really hoping to come up with a result before that to take the pressure off.
''She's in the shape of her life, she's skating great but it just seems there is a force working against her or something"
There was more disappointment for Team GB in the next heat for 23-year-old Nottingham skater Charlotte Gilmartin, who finished fifth out of six.
Britain's women curlers suffered a setback in their bid for a place in the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics semi-finals as they stumbled to an 8-6 defeat to Switzerland in their second round-robin fixture of Saturday.
Earlier in the day, Eve Muirhead's all-Scottish world champion rink had beaten South Korea 10-8 to register their third straight win, but their momentum was then halted by a Swiss outfit who had lost their previous three matches.
A disappointing sixth end for GB saw them concede three points, sending their opponents into a 6-2 lead, and although Team Muirhead battled back so it was 7-6 to the Swiss going into the 10th, Mirjam Ott's team were able to see out the victory, leaving both rinks with a record of four wins from seven games and in joint-third with China.
Britain's men also suffered a setback as their victorious streak in the round-robin stage come to an end with a 7-5 defeat at the hands of defending Olympic champions Canada.
Brad Jacobs' men stole a point in the 10th and final end to secure victory.
Murdoch's all-Scottish rink are now joint-third with Canada in the 10-team round-robin rankings, behind joint-first pair China and Sweden, with all four having played seven times.
British skeleton slider Kristan Bromley savoured another top-10 finish in the Winter Olympics following an excellent final run.
The Games in Sochi are expected to be the 41-year-old's fourth and final appearance as an athlete and he finished in eighth place in an overall time of three minutes 48.17 seconds - 3.88secs adrift of gold medallist Alexander Tretiakov.
His final lap time of 56.74secs was his fastest over the two days and left Bromley happy with his performance.
''I'm really pleased to end this Olympics on such a high note and to be in the top 10,'' he said.
Team-mate Dominic Parsons ended his debut Olympic campaign with an encouraging 10th-placed finish and was reasonably proud of his efforts.
''I can't really complain,'' he said. ''(There were a) few mistakes in all the runs but it's been a great experience anyway."
Tretiakov took the gold medal, to the delight of the partisan home fans, with Latvia's Martins Dukurs settling for silver after finishing 0.81secs adrift of the Russian, while Matthew Antoine took bronze.
British alpine skier Chemmy Alcott was crushed after finishing 23rd in the ladies' super-G in what is almost certain to be her last event at a Winter Olympics.
The 31-year-old was looking to build on her respectable result in the downhill earlier this week but was not happy with a time of one minute 29.14 seconds, which saw her finish 3.62secs adrift of gold medallist Anna Fenninger.
''The other day I had tears of happiness and now I've got tears of frustration,'' said Alcott, who was competing in her fourth Winter Olympics, despite only returning to full-time training in December after breaking her leg for a second time in August.
''I'm not here just to finish, just to compete - even after what I've been through I still wanted to come here and race,'' she said.
Austria's Fenninger triumphed by over half a second in a time of 1min 25.52secs.