Christie was trying to barge through to third place on the penultimate lap of the women’s 500m speed skating final at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Pyeongchang.

But she appeared to catch Canadian Kim Boudin and toppled to the ice, crashing into the barriers.

ELISE CHRISTIE CRASH VIDEO: WATCH MOMENT BRIT CRASHED OUT WINTER OLYMPICS

Christie’s close friend Chemmy Alcott appeared to be fighting back tears in her role as a BBC pundit.

But it was all too much for 27-year-old Christie who couldn’t hide her emotions in an interview minutes after the disaster.

A distraught Christie said: “I was knocked over, I didn’t fall on my own. It’s just tough, I worked so hard. It has been taken away from me.

“Even in the semi final I got crashed into and ended up in lane four. It is short track and I am supposed to be prepared for this but it hurts.

“Hopefully I can come back again. I can reset. It’s almost a week until my best distance. Right now I can’t see living with this feeling.”

It was a further setback for Christie who suffered a triple disqualification nightmare at the Sochi Olympics four years ago.

Christie was awarded fourth place in the race after home favourite Choi Minjeong was disqualified, with Italy’s Arianna Fontana taking gold, Holland’s Yara van Kerkhof silver and Boudin being upgraded to a surprise bronze.

The Scot had burst through her quarter-final heat when the action resumed on Tuesday but was forced to rely on a photo-finish to squeeze through her semi-final in second place.

Her semi-final struggle meant Christie had to start the final in the unfavourable fourth lane and she paid the price, although she will get her second chance in the 1,500m on Saturday.

Former British short track speed skater Wilf O’Reilly couldn’t believe what he had seen and defended Christie.

He said: “Clearly the camera angles the referees see are different. It would make more sense to the people watching if we could see them.

“It looked to me very clearly that Kim Boutin was trying to block Elise but ultimately Choi Minjeong got the penalty. I’ve lost the plot completely!

“I think one of the things we need to understand is that Elise Christie has had these disappointments in Sochi.

“Now she has come away – fourth again – she has the 1,500m and the 1,000m still to go. One of the things she has to do is stay positive. Her team, the people back home, have to stay behind her. It’s just the start of the Olympics!

“The British camp have to be positive. Everything was going according to plan before the final but it’s not the end of the world. We still have two distances to go.”

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