British short track speed skater Elise Christie stormed to 500m gold in Calgary on Sunday to open her World Cup campaign in fine style.
The Sky Academy Sports Scholar had revealed in the build-up to a new season that she had been “learning to lose” and training with her male team-mates to help sharpen her skills on and off the ice.
And she had to deal with defeat right at the start, crashing out in the quarter-finals in the first 500m event which would have brought back some painful memories from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi when she fell and was disqualified three times.
China’s Kexin Fan took the glory with victory in Saturday’s first race, but there was no holding Christie back in Sunday’s second 500m showdown.
The 26-year-old from Livingston was dominant in the qualifying races and in the final led from start to finish before crossing the line in a British record time of 42.565 seconds.
Canadian Jamie MacDonald was second, while Dutch star Yara van Kerkhof and Hungary’s Petra Jaszapati trailed in third and fourth.
Christie now has 10,144 points in the overall classification ahead of Fan (10,000) and Van Kerkhof (8,078).
Next up for Christie is the second World Cup event in Salt Lake City, USA before heading to Shanghai and Gangneung in South Korea before Christmas.
The short track speed skating World Championships is in Rotterdam in March.
WHAT’S COMING UP FOR OUR SCHOLARS….
NOV 7-10: Jack Bateson, GB boxing training camp
NOV 11-14: Elise Christie, World Cup, Salt Lake City, USA
NOV 12: Jessica Judd, Milton Keynes XC