Christie's boyfriend makes history for Hungary

web_photo_Sandor Liu Shaolin_22022018

Liu Shaolin Sandor of Hungary is congratulated by his girlfriend British Short Track skater Elise Christie after winning gold in the Men's 5000 m Relay short track speed skating competition at the Gangneung Ice Arena during the PyeongChang Olympic Games.

Briton Elise Christie&39;s wretched Pyeonchang Olympics ended on a high when her boyfriend helped Hungary make history with their first Winter Games gold on Thursday.

Christie was dubbed Britain&39;s unluckiest Olympian after the short track speed skate world champion crashed twice and was penalised to pile on the misery following her three Sochi 2014 disqualifications.

But her woes were swept away as with her right foot in a cast she climbed over the side barrier to embrace boyfriend Sandor Liu Shaolin after he was part of the four-man Hungary team that won 5,000m relay gold.

There were long faces in the hosts&39; camp though as South Korea&39;s teenage star Choi Min-jeong crashed out on a miserable night for the sport&39;s superpower.

The Koreans had high hopes in all three races at a packed Gangneung Ice Arena but they endured an evening to forget as the Olympic short-track competition wrapped up.

Hungary&39;s breakthrough was accompanied by a victorious moment for China, hosts of the next Winter Games in 2022, when Wu Dajing won their first gold in Pyeongchang with a world record in the men&39;s 500m. 

Korean fans had little to cheer, starting when Choi&39;s bid for an Olympic treble ended in a wipe-out with fellow South Korean Shim Suk-hee.

Choi, gold-medallist in the women&39;s 1,500m and 3,000m relay, clipped the blades of Shim in the final lap of the 1,000m, sending both skaters hurtling into the side padding. 

That left Suzanne Schulting of the Netherlands to claim gold, with Canada&39;s Kim Boutin taking silver and Arianna Fontana of Italy the bronze.

Then in the men&39;s 500m, South Korea had to settle for second and third behind China&39;s Wu, the 2014 silver medallist, who set a world record in the quarter-finals and lowered it to 39.584sec in the final.

"I definitely felt pressure, I wanted to get a breakthrough for myself, and for China," said Wu. "This is a new beginning, and we look forward to Beijing."

Really, really sorry

Hwang Dae-heon&39;s silver and Lim Hyo-jun&39;s bronze behind Wu turned out to be the highlights for South Korea, who were knocked out of contention in the men&39;s 5,000m relay after a mid-race fall.

Korea&39;s Lim was inconsolable after the race as he apologised profusely for the mishap.

"Before the Games I thought we had to get relay gold, but then I made a mistake and that led to no medal and I&39;m so sorry for my team-mates, I&39;m just really, really sorry," he said.

Further ahead there was no stopping Hungary, who held off China and Canada to claim their first Winter Olympics gold, and first medal of any colour since 1980.

Hungary -- Csaba Burjan, Victor Knoch, Shaoang Liu and his older brother, Christie&39;s partner Sandor  -- did it in style, setting a new Olympic record of 6min 34.510sec.

Knoch said: "It&39;s been 38 years since our last medal. I think everybody felt this weight on their shoulders and it was really hard to perform like this at the Olympics."

He added: "That was our last chance to get a medal for our federation, our country, and it&39;s unbelievable that it&39;s a gold. It&39;s really hard to understand what just happened."

Choi, 19, was regarded as a poster girl for the Olympics hosts, but in a rollercoaster Games her bid for four golds ended immediately when she was disqualified from the 500m. 

Choi won the 1,500m and led South Korea to 3,000m relay success, but she only made Thursday&39;s final through the back door, when a penalty to one of her rivals earned her a pass to the medal race.

Starting on the outside she was always up against it, and after the collision with Shim she ended her race -- and her Olympics -- unceremoniously on her backside.