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Speed Skating at the 1948 Sankt Moritz Winter Games:

Men's 10,000 metres

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Host City: Sankt Moritz, Switzerland
Venue(s): Olympic Ice Stadium Badrutts Park, St. Moritz
Date Started: February 3, 1948
Date Finished: February 3, 1948

Gold: SWE Åke Seyffarth
Silver: FIN Lassi Parkkinen
Bronze: FIN Pentti Lammio

Summary

At the first Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, the 10 km event had been a disaster. Due to warm weather, the race was cancelled after a few pairs and never concluded. Two decades later, the 10,000 m was once again the victim of weather conditions. Again, warm weather marred the competition after just a few pairs, although not as badly as the previous time. Unlike in 1928, the race was completed, and medals were awarded.

All top skaters raced in the early pairs, when the weather was still acceptable. However, the weather was not the only problem for the competitors; the thin St. Moritz air also proved a difficulty for many. One of them was 5,000 m bronze medallist Göthe Hedlund, who had recorded a nice 17.17,1 in December. He had to give up in the first pair, which was won by his compatriot Harry Jansson. The other Swedish medal candidate, Åke Seyffarth had been in doubt about starting the race, but these doubts proved ungrounded. He opened up a quick lead on Finland's Pertti Lammio, which would only grow larger. Thanks to two impressive 41-second laps at the end, the clock stopped at a very respectable 17.26,3, with Lammio some 16 seconds behind that.

World Champion Lassi Parkkinen and Hungarian Kornél Pajor contested the third pair, and both began their races faster than Seyffarth. At a third of the distance, Pajor lost connection with Parkkinen, who also gradually slowed. At 7,200 m, the Finn still came through in the same time as the leader, but he could not keep up the pace any longer, losing nearly 10 seconds in the remaining laps for second place. With the gold and silver medallists of the 5,000 m drawn in the next pair, Parkkinen was not expected to hold on to this position. However, a few puddles of water appeared on the track, as a sign of deteriorating weather conditions. Still, Reidar Liaklev managed to copy Seyffarth's times and seemed headed for a medal, when he suddenly slowed noticeably. Like Hedlund, Liaklev suffered from the altitude, and stepped out of the race. Lundberg, nearly half a lap behind at that point, did finish the race. It would later turn out he was the only Norwegian to do so, finishing only in seventh. With temperatures rising, the standings did not change in the remaining pairs. Seyffarth's victory marked the first Olympic title for Sweden.

While conditions were bad for all skaters after the fifth pair, Richard Solem was probably most affected. Because his opponent forfeited, he had to skate alone at the end of the programme. He consistently clocked lap times of over 1 minute and finished after 26.22,4, by far the worst time recorded in Olympic history. US journalist Ted Smits wrote: "[the ice] became so mushy by early afternoon that Richard Solem of Chicago, racing at the very end of the program after eight men had dropped out due to poor ice and the altitude, ploughed through slush up to the tubes of his skates. But he gamely finished, and his time of 26 minutes, 22.4 seconds attested to the ordeal. He was cheered for 19th place almost as loudly as the victor."

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T 4c 8c 1.2k 1.6k 2k 2.4k 2.8k 3.2k 3.6k 4k 4.4k 4.8k 5.2k 5.6k 6k 6.4k 6.8k 7.2k 7.6k 8k 8.4k 8.8k 9.2k 9.6k
1 Åke Seyffarth 28 Sweden SWE Gold 17:26.3 44 1:24 2:05 2:46 3:28 4:10 4:52 5:34 6:16 6:57 7:39 8:20 9:02 9:45 10:27 11:09 11:52 12:34 13:16 13:58 14:40 15:22 16:04 16:45
2 Lassi Parkkinen 30 Finland FIN Silver 17:36.0 45 1:26 2:07 2:47 3:29 4:10 4:51 5:32 6:13 6:55 7:37 8:19 9:01 9:44 10:26 11:09 11:51 12:34 13:17 14:00 14:44 15:27 16:10 16:53
3 Pentti Lammio 28 Finland FIN Bronze 17:42.7 44 1:25 2:07 2:48 3:30 4:12 4:55 5:38 6:20 7:03 7:45 8:28 9:10 9:53 10:36 11:20 12:02 12:45 13:28 14:11 14:52 15:35 16:18 17:00
4 Kornél Pajor 24 Hungary HUN 17:45.6 45 1:26 2:07 2:47 3:29 4:11 4:51 5:32 6:14 6:56 7:38 8:21 9:04 9:48 10:30 11:15 11:59 12:43 13:27 14:11 14:54 15:38 16:20 17:04
5 Kees Broekman 20 Netherlands NED 17:54.7 42 1:24 2:06 2:48 3:31 4:14 4:57 5:40 6:24 7:06 7:48 8:31 9:14 9:58 10:42 11:25 12:09 12:53 13:36 14:20 15:04 15:47 16:31 17:14
6 Jan Langedijk 37 Netherlands NED 17:55.3 43 1:24 2:07 2:49 3:32 4:15 4:58 5:41 6:25 7:07 7:49 8:32 9:16 9:59 10:43 11:26 12:10 12:53 13:36 14:20 15:04 15:47 16:31 17:14
7 Odd Lundberg 30 Norway NOR 18:05.8 45 1:28 2:12 2:53 3:36 4:18 5:00 5:43 6:26 7:09 7:52 8:35 9:19 10:03 10:47 11:31 12:16 13:00 13:45 14:30 15:14 15:58 16:42 17:26
8 Harry Jansson 31 Sweden SWE 18:08.0 44 1:25 2:07 2:48 3:26 4:11 4:54 5:36 6:18 7:02 7:45 8:29 9:14 9:57 10:41 11:25 12:10 12:55 13:40 14:24 15:10 15:55 16:39 17:24
9 Rune Hammarström 27 Sweden SWE 18:39.6 44 1:26 2:08 2:50 3:33 4:17 5:01 5:45 6:30 7:15 7:59 8:44 9:28 10:13 10:58 11:43 12:29 13:14 14:00 14:46 15:33 16:20 17:08 17:54
10 Max Stiepl 33 Austria AUT 19:25.5 44 1:26 2:09 2:53 3:38 4:22 5:08 5:53 6:39 7:25 8:12 8:58 9:45 10:33 11:20 12:08 12:55 13:44 14:33 15:22 16:11 17:00 17:49 18:38
11 Johnny Werket 23 United States USA 19:44.0 47 1:31 2:17 3:02 3:46 4:31 5:17 6:04 6:50 7:38 8:26 9:14 10:02 10:50 11:38 12:25 13:13 14:03 14:52 15:42 16:32 17:22 18:13 19:02
12 Pierre Huylebroeck 25 Belgium BEL 19:54.8 48 1:34 2:20 3:06 3:53 4:40 5:28 6:15 7:02 7:48 8:34 9:20 10:06 10:53 11:41 12:29 13:18 14:07 14:57 15:46 16:36 17:26 18:16 19:05
13 Craig MacKay 20 Canada CAN 20:15.5 46 1:32 2:19 3:06 3:53 4:42 5:29 6:20 7:08 7:59 8:49 9:40 10:29 11:19 12:09 12:59 13:48 14:39 15:29 16:18 17:07 17:56 18:44 19:32
14 Anton Huiskes 19 Netherlands NED 20:16.4 48 1:35 2:23 3:10 3:59 4:47 5:35 6:23 7:11 7:59 8:48 9:37 10:26 11:14 12:05 12:53 13:43 14:33 15:23 16:14 17:04 17:53 18:42 19:32
15 Iván Ruttkay 21 Hungary HUN 20:16.5 46 1:32 2:19 3:06 3:53 4:41 5:29 6:21 7:08 7:59 8:51 9:37 10:26 11:16 12:08 12:57 13:48 14:38 15:29 16:17 17:07 17:54 18:44 19:30
16 Janós Kilián 25 Hungary HUN 20:23.8 48 1:31 2:14 2:59 3:44 4:31 5:18 6:06 6:55 7:44 8:33 9:20 10:09 10:58 11:48 12:38 13:29 14:21 15:12 16:03 16:54 17:47 18:39 19:33
17 Sonny Rupprecht 22 United States USA 21:20.3 48 1:36 2:25 3:15 4:04 4:55 5:45 6:36 7:27 8:12 9:10 10:02 10:52 11:43 12:33 13:24 14:16 15:08 16:02 16:54 17:47 18:40 19:35 20:29
18 Art Seaman 25 United States USA 21:34.8 49 1:36 2:24 3:13 4:02 4:50 5:39 6:29 7:19 8:09 9:02 9:52 10:46 11:40 12:34 13:28 14:23 15:18 16:14 17:10 18:05 18:59 20:48
19 Buddy Solem 21 United States USA 26:22.4 1:00 2:01 3:03 4:05 5:08 6:11 7:16 8:20 9:24 10:30 11:33 12:35 13:37 14:41 15:45 16:49 17:55 19:01 20:08 21:14 22:20 23:25 24:30 25:34
AC Hjalmar Andersen 24 Norway NOR 47 1:34 2:22 3:10 3:59 4:48 5:37 6:27 7:17 8:07 DNF
AC Johnny Cronshey 21 Great Britain GBR 48 1:36 2:23 3:11 3:59 4:47 5:35 6:24 7:11 7:59 8:49 9:38 10:26 11:15 12:05 12:54 13:45 14:35 15:28 16:22 17:14 DNF
AC Göthe Hedlund 29 Sweden SWE 44 1:25 2:08 2:49 3:28 4:12 4:55 5:37 6:20 7:04 7:45 8:30 9:13 9:57 10:41 11:25 DNF
AC Henry Howes 19 Great Britain GBR 49 1:36 2:25 3:15 4:06 4:58 5:49 6:43 7:39 8:35 9:30 10:27 11:24 12:21 13:18 14:16 15:08 DNF
AC Kalevi Laitinen 28 Finland FIN 45 1:27 2:10 2:53 3:35 4:18 5:02 5:47 6:31 7:15 7:59 8:44 9:29 10:15 11:00 11:47 12:35 13:23 14:11 DNF
AC Reidar Liaklev 30 Norway NOR 44 1:26 2:07 2:47 3:28 4:09 4:50 5:32 6:14 6:55 7:37 8:20 9:02 9:45 10:28 11:17 DNF
AC Henry Wahl 32 Norway NOR 45 1:30 2:16 3:01 3:46 4:31 5:17 6:04 6:50 7:37 8:24 9:09 9:59 10:47 DNF
AC Vladimír Kolář 20 Czechoslovakia TCH [44] [1:25] [2:07] [2:50] [3:33] [4:17] [5:00] [5:44] DQ