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Speed Skating at the 1936 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Winter Games:

Men's 1,500 metres

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
Venue(s): Olympic Rink at Rießersee, Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Date Started: February 13, 1936
Date Finished: February 13, 1936

Gold: NOR Charles Mathiesen
Silver: NOR Ivar Ballangrud
Bronze: FIN Birger Wasenius

Summary

With Ivar Ballangrud having won the 500 metres, he was considered to have a good shot at a clean sweep of the speed skating medals. Other skaters were not considered to have much of a chance, especially since Ballangrud had tied the legendary World Record of Oscar Mathisen, 2:17.4, at the World Championships in Davos (Switzerland). All other fast times of the season had also been posted by Norwegians: Harry Haraldsen, Charles Mathiesen and Hans Engnestangen.

Ballangrud was the first of the top skaters to ride, and his pair with Leo Freisinger (USA) was a great duel. The two skaters exchanged the lead a few times, with Ballangrud leading at the last turn. Freisinger was looking to close in with a final inner curve, but could not keep up, and the Norwegian posted 2:20.2. Another close pair followed, between Mathiesen and Max Stiepl of Austria. A silver medallist in the 1500 m at the European Championships, Mathiesen kept a high tempo, being trailed by Stiepl for the first two laps. He then took off, while keeping his 1 second lead on Ballangrud. His 2:19.2 was an excellent time, and a new Olympic Record - Ballangrud was beaten, the surprise of the day. Harry Haraldsen then seemed to be blazing towards a top position as well, but this was mostly caused by his poor opponent. He caught Belgian Charles de Ligne on the final straightaway, a very rare occurrence in an event of just under four laps. In fact, De Ligne is the worst speed skater in Olympic history. His times in the 500 m (with fall), 1500 m and 5000 m (disqualified) are the worst ever recorded at the Olympics, while the ice in Garmisch-Partenkirchen was of good quality. Only one skater has done worse than De Ligne, in the 10000 m. However, Buddy Solem (USA) had the misfortune of skating on a thawing rink at the 1948 Games.

The top four times were secure until the next to last pair, which included Birger Wasenius, winner of the silver medal the day before. He kept up with the pace of the leading Norwegian couple until 700 metres, but then had to yield. He was trailing Freisinger's third position with a lap to go, but closed that gap to win his second medal of the Games.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T 3c 7c 1.1k
1 Charles Mathiesen 24 Norway NOR Gold 2:19.2 28.5 1:03.0 1:40.0 OR
2 Ivar Ballangrud 31 Norway NOR Silver 2:20.2 28.5 1:04.0 1:41.0 OR
3 Birger Wasenius 24 Finland FIN Bronze 2:20.9 28.5 1:04.0 1:41.5
4 Leo Freisinger 19 United States USA 2:21.3 28.5 1:04.0 1:41.0
5 Max Stiepl 21 Austria AUT 2:21.6 29.0 1:04.0 1:42.0
6 Karl Wazulek 21 Austria AUT 2:22.2 29.0 1:05.5 1:43.0
7 Harry Haraldsen 24 Norway NOR 2:22.4 28.5 1:04.0 1:42.0
8 Hans Engnestangen 27 Norway NOR 2:23.0 29.0 1:05.5 1:43.0
9T Ossi Blomqvist 27 Finland FIN 2:23.2 30.0 1:06.0 1:44.0
9T Antero Ojala 19 Finland FIN 2:23.2 30.0 1:05.0 1:43.5
9T Dolf van der Scheer 26 Netherlands NED 2:23.2 29.5 1:06.0 1:44.0
12T Karl Leban 27 Austria AUT 2:24.3 30.0 1:06.0 1:44.0
12T Eddie Schroeder 25 United States USA 2:24.3 29.5 1:05.5 1:44.5
14 Jan Langedijk 25 Netherlands NED 2:24.6 30.0 1:07.0 1:45.0
15 Seien Kin 22 Japan JPN 2:25.0 28.5 1:05.5 1:44.0
16 Willi Sandner 24 Germany GER 2:25.3 30.0 1:06.5 1:45.0
17 Robert Petersen 21 United States USA 2:25.4 29.5 1:05.0 1:44.0
18 Alfons Bērziņš 19 Latvia LAT 2:25.8 30.0 1:07.0 1:45.0
19 Shozo Ishihara 25 Japan JPN 2:26.7 30.5 1:07.5 1:46.0
20T Lou Dijkstra 26 Netherlands NED 2:27.2 30.0 1:08.0 1:47.0
20T Åke Ekman 23 Finland FIN 2:27.2 29.5 1:06.0 1:46.0
22 Aleksander Mitt 32 Estonia EST 2:27.8 31.0 1:09.0 1:47.5
23T Jānis Andriksons 23 Latvia LAT 2:28.9 29.0 1:06.0 1:47.0
23T Seitoku Ri 24 Japan JPN 2:28.9 30.0 1:07.5 1:47.5
25T László Hídvéghy 25 Hungary HUN 2:29.0 30.5 1:09.0 1:48.0
25T Ferdinand Preindl 23 Austria AUT 2:29.0 31.0 1:08.5 1:47.5
27 Heinz Sames 24 Germany GER 2:29.3 30.5 1:08.0 1:47.0
28 Yasuo Kawamura 27 Japan JPN 2:29.6 29.5 1:06.0 1:47.0
29 Axel Johansson 25 Sweden SWE 2:29.9 30.0 1:07.5 1:49.0
30 Roelof Koops 26 Netherlands NED 2:30.0 32.0 1:09.0 1:48.0
31 Jaromír Turnovský 23 Czechoslovakia TCH 2:30.5 30.0 1:08.0 1:48.0
32 Allan Potts 31 United States USA 2:31.2 30.0 1:07.5 1:47.5
33 Ken Kennedy 22 Australia AUS 2:31.8 30.0 1:08.0 1:48.0
34 Tommy White 20 Canada CAN 2:34.2 31.0 1:10.0 1:51.0
35 Oldřich Hanč 20 Czechoslovakia TCH 2:57.8 31.5 1:24.0 2:10.0
36 James Graeffe 24 Belgium BEL 3:00.5 35.0 1:22.5 2:11.0
37 Charles de Ligne 40 Belgium BEL 3:21.9 40.0 1:32.0 2:27.0