Christie wants his and hers gold medals for Valentine’s Day

Elise Christie booked her place in Tuesday’s Olympic final (Andy J Ryan / Team GB)

They’re dubbed the ‘Posh and Becks’ of short-track – only they hope to have matching gold medals, rather than his-and-her gold thrones.

Elise Christie and Shaolin Liu have four world titles between them though the Scot never gets tired of telling her Hungarian partner that she owns three of them.

He, in contrast, likes to remind her that he won his first.

Liu finished just outside the medals in his first of his events here while Christie progressed to Tuesday’s 500m quarter-finals in an Olympic record time.

“It’s always pretty hard watching Elise,” he said.

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“I was in the stands shouting. I know she couldn’t hear anything but I couldn’t stop myself. She’s giving me a lot of power when she’s doing good so I’m cheering out for her.

“I know she was nervous but she’s getting better, I’m teaching her. I think it’s a really good thing to be in the same sport and giving advice to each other.

“I remember in 2016 before that season started she said we’re going to both be world champions together.

“I won my world title that year but she won her three 12 months later, that really annoyed her. I’ve always said the better I do, the better she does.

“We’re trying to help each other and handle the pressure together. We’re seeing each other when we can in the village but we’re both very focussed on what we have to do here.

“We can celebrate Valentine’s Day when we have finished, hopefully both with Olympic gold medals.”

Record

Of course Britain has a strong track record of success on Valentine’s Day, Torvill and Dean back in Sarajevo and Lizzy Yarnold four years ago in Sochi all taking gold.

Christie’s first potential final falls one day earlier, but then again there’s nothing wrong with getting in early.

Christie admitted to a bad case of nerves before she took to the start line in the first of her three events here in South Korea.

Not known for her super-fast start, Christie is still the world record holder over 500m and clocked 42.872 seconds to break the eight-year Olympic record this weekend.

And that set up a showdown with Korea’s Minjeong Choi with tension packed races standing between the Scot and her Olympic ambition.

“I had the top Korean and Chinese girl in my heat and only two of us could go through,” added Christie.

“When I saw it I thought ‘bloomin’ heck’ but I knew if I beat them then that is one less rival to worry about for the next round.

“I’m really pleased with that time, it shows that I’m in the sort of form I want to be in, especially as I wasn’t going 100 percent.

“You can train, train and train but it’s only when you are out there racing that you actually know how good you are feeling.

“That was my best start in years and that is really going to help my nerves. If I can get a start in the next round it will really help my confidence.

“Obviously it’s all about the gold but if I can beat the world record too, that would be awesome.”

Most short track championships are over in a weekend but the Olympic format is drawn out with five days racing drawn out over a 12 day period.

“Some guys really struggle with it, I love it,” added Christie.

“I’ll be training every day and keeping my feet on the ice but I’ll be taking my brain easy too, relaxing my brain is what I need!”

Watch Elise Christie go for gold on Tuesday on Eurosport 1. Don’t miss a moment of the Olympic Winter Games on Eurosport and Eurosport Player. Go to www.Eurosport.co.uk