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Biathlon at the 1960 Squaw Valley Winter Games:

Men's 20 kilometres

Biathlon at the 1960 Winter Games: Next Winter Games

Events:
Phases:

Host City: Squaw Valley, United States
Venue(s): McKinney Creek Stadium, Tahoma, California
Date Started: February 21, 1960
Date Finished: February 21, 1960
Format: Two-minute penalty for each missed target.

Gold: SWE Klas Lestander
Silver: FIN Antti Tyrväinen
Bronze: URS Aleksandr Privalov

Summary

Biathlon was a new event in the Olympic program 1960. It was an individual variant of the military ski patrol competition, an official medal sport in 1924, and organized as a demonstration sport on several earlier Olympic occasions. The first World Championships were organized in Saalfelden, Austria in 1958 with Adolf Wiklund from Sweden as the first champion. One year later the Soviets took a double in Courmayeur, Italy, with Vladimir Melanin as winner and Dmitry Sokolov in second place.

The Olympic biathlon competition in 1960 was contested over 20 km with 20 shots fired over four different ranges: 200m, 250m, 150m and 100m. The first three series were fired from a prone position, the last standing. Each missed target gave a two minute penalty, which was added to the final time. In 1967 the penalty for each missed target was reduced from two to one minute. Also the weapon was different from the small board rifle in use nowadays. The biathletes at that time used a high-power center fire rifle, normally caliber 7,62 mm. The normal start interval in those days was two minutes, but due to very mild temperatures the intervals were reduced to one minute for the first Olympic event.

Before the final five standing shots, only three participants had been able to hit all 15 targets, and those three held the medal positions. Aleksandr Privalov from the Soviet Union had a lead of over two minutes on the Swede Klas Lestander, and the Norwegian 38-year-old veteran Henry Hermansen followed closely in third place. But the final standing shooting turned out to be decisive. Lestander once again made 5 hits, the only competitor to hit all 20 targets, and would finish as Olympic champion, even if his cross country time was the 15th best of the day out of 30 competitors. Privalov missed three times, was penalized with six minutes, and was also passed in the final stage by the Finn Antti Tyrväinen, who had two missed targets on the first two shooting phases, but was able to hit his last 10 targets. For Hermansen, the final shooting phase was even worse - he missed four shots and went down to 10th place overall.

The fastest skier of the day, the French cross country specialist Victor Arbez, had a cross-country time almost 7 1/2 minutes better than the Olympic Champion Lestander, but was only able to hit 2 of his 20 targets. He was penalized 36 minutes and ended up placing 25th out of the 30 competitors.

The Olympic Champion Klas Lestander was 28, and came from the little village Arjeplog in the Lapland area in the far north of Sweden. He ended his athletic career after being a member of the Swedish relay team that placed third at the 1961 World Biathlon Championships. At that time, the relay event was not an official championships event.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal AT M ST SR S1M S1T S1R S2M S2T S2R S3M S3T S3R S4M S4T S4R
1 Klas Lestander 28 Sweden SWE Gold 1-33:21.6 0 1-33:21.6 15 0 26:12 4 0 40:43 4 0 58:07 2 0 1-13:06 1
2 Antti Tyrväinen 26 Finland FIN Silver 1-33:57.7 2 1-29:57.7 10 1 27:21 9 1 43:55 10 0 1-00:53 6 0 1-15:11 2
3 Aleksandr Privalov 26 Soviet Union URS Bronze 1-34:54.2 3 1-28:54.2 6 0 25:11 1 0 39:20 2 0 55:58 1 3 1-15:40 3
4 Vladimir Melanin 26 Soviet Union URS 1-35:42.4 4 1-27:42.4 3 1 27:25 10 1 42:25 7 2 1-02:44 9 0 1-16:23 4
5 Valentin Pshenitsyn 23 Soviet Union URS 1-36:45.8 3 1-30:45.8 13 0 26:27 5 1 42:14 6 1 1-00:37 5 1 1-17:05 5
6 Dmitry Sokolov 35 Soviet Union URS 1-38:16.7 5 1-28:16.7 4 2 29:41 15 0 43:21 9 0 59:21 4 3 1-18:55 7
7 Ola Wærhaug 22 Norway NOR 1-38:35.8 1 1-36:35.8 23 0 27:51 11 1 44:24 11 0 1-02:41 7 0 1-17:40 6
8 Martti Meinilä 32 Finland FIN 1-39:17.0 5 1-29:17.0 8 0 25:59 2 1 41:54 5 2 1-02:43 8 2 1-20:25 8
9 Kuno Werner 34 Germany GER 1-41:33.8 6 1-29:33.8 9 2 29:26 14 1 45:05 13 1 1-03:54 10 2 1-21:47 10
10 Henry Hermansen 38 Norway NOR 1-42:20.1 4 1-34:20.1 20 0 26:07 3 0 40:42 3 0 58:28 3 4 1-21:21 9
11 Jon Istad 22 Norway NOR 1-44:53.5 4 1-36:53.5 26 1 29:14 12 1 45:44 16 2 1-08:01 14 0 1-23:02 11
12 Tage Lundin 26 Sweden SWE 1-45:56.3 6 1-33:56.3 19 0 26:33 6 2 44:40 12 3 1-08:23 15 1 1-25:36 14
13 Herbert Kirchner 22 Germany GER 1-46:35.6 4 1-38:35.6 27 1 30:02 16 0 45:13 14 1 1-05:54 11 2 1-25:19 13
14 John Burritt 25 United States USA 1-46:36.8 5 1-36:36.8 25 0 26:35 7 1 42:46 8 3 1-06:48 13 1 1-24:13 12
15 Eero Laine 34 Finland FIN 1-47:28.3 7 1-33:28.3 16 2 30:23 17 0 45:24 15 4 1-10:47 17 1 1-27:18 15
16 Sven Agge 34 Sweden SWE 1-48:21.7 9 1-30:21.7 12 3 31:34 18 3 51:31 20 3 1-14:19 21 0 1-28:23 17
17 Horst Nickel 25 Germany GER 1-48:28.9 8 1-32:28.9 14 3 32:54 20 1 49:02 18 0 1-06:04 12 4 1-28:17 16
18 Pentti Taskinen 30 Finland FIN 1-50:29.7 7 1-36:29.7 22 0 26:58 8 3 47:37 17 2 1-09:54 16 2 1-29:10 18
19 Adolf Wiklund 38 Sweden SWE 1-54:07.8 12 1-30:07.8 11 2 29:24 13 3 49:13 19 3 1-12:07 18 4 1-34:13 20
20 Kurt Hinze 25 Germany GER 1-54:36.5 9 1-36:36.5 24 3 33:03 21 2 51:53 21 2 1-14:07 20 2 1-33:01 19
21 Dick Mize 24 United States USA 1-55:56.2 11 1-33:56.2 18 3 32:52 19 3 52:47 22 5 1-20:34 25 0 1-35:03 21
22 René Mercier 23 France FRA 1-56:13.2 15 1-26:13.2 2 4 33:17 23 4 54:01 23 2 1-13:35 19 5 1-36:58 23
23 Gustav Hanson 25 United States USA 1-58:06.2 9 1-40:06.2 28 3 34:04 24 3 55:14 24 2 1-18:45 22 1 1-36:25 22
24 Larry Damon 26 United States USA 1-59:38.2 13 1-33:38.2 17 5 37:00 28 3 57:16 27 3 1-20:44 26 2 1-39:11 24
25 Victor Arbez 25 France FRA 2-01:58.4 18 1-25:58.4 1 4 33:16 22 5 56:11 26 5 1-21:56 27 4 1-43:22 26
26 Pál Sajgó 37 Hungary HUN 2-02:27.3 14 1-34:27.3 21 5 37:25 29 3 57:58 29 2 1-19:37 23 4 1-41:51 25
27 Gilbert Mercier 28 France FRA 2-03:16.6 17 1-29:16.6 7 4 34:20 25 4 55:44 25 4 1-20:22 24 5 1-44:03 27
28 Paul Romand 29 France FRA 2-04:48.4 18 1-28:48.4 5 5 35:35 27 5 58:44 30 4 1-22:39 28 4 1-44:33 28
29 John Moore 26 Great Britain GBR 2-08:50.8 14 1-40:50.8 29 4 37:58 30 2 57:19 28 4 1-23:56 29 4 1-47:22 29
30 Norman Shutt 30 Great Britain GBR 2-11:36.5 13 1-45:36.5 30 2 34:38 26 5 1-00:48 1 3 1-26:26 30 3 1-48:42 30