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Cross Country Skiing at the 1964 Innsbruck Winter Games:

Men's 50 kilometres

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Host City: Innsbruck, Austria
Venue(s): Cross Country Skiing Stadium, Seefeld
Date Started: February 5, 1964
Date Finished: February 5, 1964

Gold: SWE Sixten Jernberg
Silver: SWE Assar Rönnlund
Bronze: FIN Arto Tiainen

Summary

Sixten Jernberg was definitively the king of the 50 km cross country in the late 1950-s and early 1960-s. He was World Champion in 1958 and 1962 and Olympic Champion in 1956. His only loss in a major championships was when he placed fifth in the 1960 Olympic Games. In the 1962 World Championships he won by a comfortable margin ahead of countryman Assar Rönnlund and defending Olympic Champion Kalevi Hämälainen. The 50 km was organized three days after the 15 km race and one day before Jernberg’s 35th birthday.

Hämälainen was in the lead after 10 km, 14 seconds ahead of Harald Grønningen and with Rönnlund and Jernberg close behind. At the halfway point Hämälainen had increased his lead to 49 seconds, with Rönnlund now in second position and Jernberg close behind in third. At 35 km Hämälainen was apparently struggling, Jernberg now in second place was only 20 seconds behind. The Norwegian Einar Østby was now in third place almost half a minute behind Jernberg, closely followed by Arto Tiainen, an experienced Finnish skier (aged 33) competing in his third Olympics. Rönnlund was down in fifth place but still in contention for the medals, only 18 seconds behind Østby. Another Swede, Janne Stefansson, was moving steadily ahead and had advanced to sixth place.

In the final part of the race defending champion Hämälainen “hit the wall” and lost almost 9 minutes to Jernberg in the last 15 km. He ended in sixteenth place. Jernberg had complete control over his opponents and finished in superb style, winning his third Olympic gold medal, over a minute ahead of team-mate Rönnlund, who after a good finish secured a Swedish double. A tired Tiainen snatched the bronze medal only six seconds ahead of Stefansson, preventing a clean sweep for the Swedes. The fastest finisher of all was the Norwegian favorite Sverre Stensheim, winner of the Holmenkollen 50 km three times in a row (1959-1961). He advanced from a modest 13th place at the halfway point ending fifth, only 17 seconds from the bronze medal. Double Olympic Champion Eero Mäntyranta was apparently tired after his two victories earlier in the week and ended up ninth.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T I1T I1R I2T I2R I3T I3R
1 Sixten Jernberg 34 Sweden SWE Gold 2-43:52.6 32:56 4 1-19:19 3 1-54:23 2
2 Assar Rönnlund 28 Sweden SWE Silver 2-44:58.2 32:52 3 1-19:14 2 1-55:08 5
3 Arto Tiainen 33 Finland FIN Bronze 2-45:30.4 33:02 5 1-19:20 4 1-54:54 4
4 Janne Stefansson 28 Sweden SWE 2-45:36.6 33:16 8 1-19:48 =7 1-55:32 6
5 Sverre Stensheim 30 Norway NOR 2-45:47.2 33:24 9 1-21:02 13 1-55:41 7
6 Harald Grønningen 29 Norway NOR 2-47:03.6 32:49 2 1-19:34 =5 1-55:43 8
7 Einar Østby 28 Norway NOR 2-47:20.6 33:11 7 1-19:34 =5 1-54:50 3
8 Ole Ellefsæter 24 Norway NOR 2-47:45.8 33:44 14 1-21:09 14 1-56:45 11
9 Eero Mäntyranta 26 Finland FIN 2-47:47.1 33:10 6 1-19:48 =7 1-55:58 9
10 Melcher Risberg 33 Sweden SWE 2-48:03.0 33:37 =11 1-20:21 9 1-56:18 10
11 Igor Voronchikhin 25 Soviet Union URS 2-49:21.7 33:26 10 1-20:50 11 1-57:16 12
12 Bayazit Gizatullin 27 Soviet Union URS 2-51:02.4 34:00 15 1-21:18 15 1-58:14 15
13 Livio Stuffer 28 Italy ITA 2-51:04.7 33:37 =11 1-20:59 12 1-57:32 13
14 Aleksandr Gubin 28 Soviet Union URS 2-51:39.7 34:48 17 1-22:46 16 2-00:03 19
15 Lauri Bergqvist 33 Finland FIN 2-52:08.0 33:37 =11 1-20:43 10 1-58:02 14
16 Kalevi Hämäläinen 31 Finland FIN 2-52:22.3 32:35 1 1-18:25 1 1-54:03 1
17 Ivan Lyubimov 31 Soviet Union URS 2-52:28.1 34:21 16 1-22:57 17 1-59:56 16
18 Eugenio Mayer 24 Italy ITA 2-53:21.3 34:51 18 1-23:09 18 1-59:57 17
19 Franco Manfroi 24 Italy ITA 2-53:56.5 35:18 19 1-23:20 19 1-59:59 18
20 Alois Kälin 24 Switzerland SUI 2-56:30.5 35:22 20 1-23:35 20 2-01:25 20
21 Andreas Janc 25 Austria AUT 2-58:43.8 36:01 23 1-25:32 22 2-04:29 22
22 Štefan Harvan 26 Czechoslovakia TCH 2-59:33.3 35:55 22 1-25:55 24 2-04:40 23
23 Ladislav Hrubý 29 Czechoslovakia TCH 3-00:35.4 36:12 25 1-26:18 25 2-04:48 24
24 Siegfried Weiß 30 Germany GER 3-00:43.0 35:37 21 1-25:12 21 2-04:04 21
25 Stefan Mitkov 30 Bulgaria BUL 3-01:13.7 36:11 24 1-25:53 23 2-05:31 25
26 Alphonse Baume 30 Switzerland SUI 3-03:49.1 36:57 29 1-27:28 28 2-07:02 27
27 Kazuo Sato 26 Japan JPN 3-03:57.9 37:03 31 1-27:45 29 2-06:56 26
28 Larry Damon 30 United States USA 3-05:06.4 37:02 30 1-28:03 30 2-08:28 30
29 Franz Kälin 24 Switzerland SUI 3-06:09.3 36:30 27 1-27:00 27 2-07:13 28
30 Herbert Steinbeißer 26 Germany GER 3-06:52.2 37:11 32 1-28:58 32 2-09:54 31
31 Georges Dubois 28 Switzerland SUI 3-07:21.8 36:17 26 1-26:39 26 2-07:52 29
32 Borislav Ochushki 29 Bulgaria BUL 3-08:18.7 36:38 28 1-28:52 31 2-10:01 32
33 Hermann Mayr 34 Austria AUT 3-08:48.6 37:56 35 1-29:45 33 2-10:20 33
34 Dick Taylor 26 United States USA 3-09:58.3 37:19 33 1-29:48 34 2-11:09 34
35 Hidezo Takahashi 29 Japan JPN 3-14:31.4 37:30 34 1-32:19 35 2-14:51 35
AC Angelo Genuin 24 Italy ITA DNF
AC Eric Luoma 31 Canada CAN DNF
AC Rudolf Dannhauer 29 Germany GER DNF
AC Franz Portmann 32 Canada CAN DNF
AC Yang Yong-Ok 28 South Korea KOR DNF
AC Chogoro Yahata 21 Japan JPN DNF