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Biathlon at the 1968 Grenoble Winter Games:

Men's 20 kilometres

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Host City: Grenoble, France
Venue(s): , Autrans
Date Started: February 12, 1968
Date Finished: February 12, 1968
Format: Variable penalty for each missed target. The target had two circles, an inner and an outer. Shots outside the outer circle brought a two-minute penalty. Shots between the circles brought a one-minute penalty.

Gold: NOR Magnar Solberg
Silver: URS Aleksandr Tikhonov
Bronze: URS Vladimir Gundartsev

Summary

Since the 1964 Games Norway had emerged as the strongest opponent to the Soviet biathletes, with individual World Championships for Olav Jordet, the Olympic bronze medalist from 1964, in 1965, and Jon Istad in 1966. The World Champion of 1967, Viktor Mamatov, was considered the strongest Soviet contender for the gold medal. To the surprise of many Norwegian journalists, a 31-year-old newcomer on the international circuit, Magnar Solberg was given the last place on the Norwegian team, and former World Champion Olav Jordet became only a substitute.

The youngest member on the Soviet team, 21-year-old Aleksandr Tikhonov, was the first to start out of 60 competitors from 16 countries. The silver medalist of the 1967 World Championships, the 33-year-old Pole Stanisław Szczepaniak, was wearing start number two, and Magnar Solberg followed with start number three. Those three early starters should more or less dominate the event.

After the first round of shooting the Soviet Union’s Vladimir Gundartsev had a scant lead, only two seconds ahead of Solberg, with Nikolay Puzanov 42 seconds behind in third place, all of them with 5 hits. On the second shooting round both Solberg and Gundartsev continued with perfect shooting scores, but Solberg had built a one minute lead. Szczepaniak had advanced from seventh to third place, another minute behind. The third shooting session turned out to be decisive. Solberg once again was perfect, while both Gundartsev and Szczepaniak sustained one-minute penalties. Tikhonov, with two penalty minutes on his two first shooting rounds, was now in second place, over one and a half minutes behind, with Gundartsev another minute behind in third place. The last round of shooting brought no change among the medal candidates. Solberg made his fourth perfect shooting round, and would finish the race as a surprising gold medal winner, 55 second ahead of Tikhonov, the fastest skier of the day. Gundartsev secured the bronze medal half a minute ahead of Szczepaniak, but was 4:42 behind the gold medalist.

Magnar Solberg, a police officer from Trondheim, was an unexpected winner. He had never before done all perfect shooting rounds in a competition, and he had never even won a national championship. His only national championships was won four years later, just before his second Olympic appearance in the 1972 Sapporo Games. The silver medalist Aleksandr Tikhonov was at the start of an impressive international career which included three more Olympic appearances.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal AT P ST SR S1P S1T S1R S2P S2T S2R S3P S3T S3R S4P S4T S4R
1 Magnar Solberg 31 Norway NOR Gold 1-13:45.9 0 1-13:45.9 2 0 14:52 2 0 33:10 1 0 46:48 1 0 1-05:57 1
2 Aleksandr Tikhonov 21 Soviet Union URS Silver 1-14:40.4 2 1-12:40.4 1 1 16:02 11 1 34:51 3 0 48:19 2 0 1-07:11 2
3 Vladimir Gundartsev 23 Soviet Union URS Bronze 1-18:27.4 2 1-16:27.4 5 0 14:50 1 0 34:09 2 1 49:29 3 1 1-10:18 3
4 Stanisław Szczepaniak 33 Poland POL 1-18:56.8 1 1-17:56.8 10 0 15:50 7 0 35:04 4 1 50:32 4 0 1-10:34 4
5 Arve Kinnari 24 Finland FIN 1-19:47.9 2 1-17:47.9 8 0 15:52 =9 0 35:15 5 1 50:34 5 1 1-11:43 5
6 Nikolay Puzanov 29 Soviet Union URS 1-20:14.5 3 1-17:14.5 7 0 15:34 3 1 35:41 6 1 51:04 7 1 1-12:11 7
7 Viktor Mamatov 30 Soviet Union URS 1-20:20.8 1 1-19:20.8 23 1 16:56 17 0 36:55 9 0 51:47 9 0 1-12:07 6
8 Stanisław Łukaszczyk 23 Poland POL 1-20:28.1 4 1-16:28.1 6 2 17:10 18 1 37:26 14 1 52:16 11 0 1-12:27 8
9 Kalevi Vähäkylä 27 Finland FIN 1-20:56.5 3 1-17:56.5 9 0 15:52 =9 2 37:19 13 0 51:28 8 1 1-12:36 9
10 Horst Koschka 24 East Germany GDR 1-21:37.7 3 1-18:37.7 16 1 16:30 14 1 36:57 10 1 52:26 =12 0 1-13:15 11
11 Jon Istad 30 Norway NOR 1-21:43.1 2 1-19:43.1 24 0 15:39 5 1 36:21 8 1 52:12 10 0 1-12:55 10
12 Theo Merkel 33 West Germany FRG 1-22:10.5 4 1-18:10.5 13 3 18:39 37 0 38:12 19 1 54:02 18 0 1-13:45 12
13 Ola Wærhaug 30 Norway NOR 1-22:12.9 3 1-19:12.9 20 0 15:35 4 2 38:30 21 1 53:08 15 0 1-13:51 13
14 Constantin Carabela 27 Romania ROU 1-22:52.2 0 1-22:52.2 41 0 16:13 12 0 37:02 11 0 52:28 14 0 1-14:04 14
15 Pavel Ploc 24 Czechoslovakia TCH 1-23:05.0 5 1-18:05.0 11 1 16:39 16 0 36:09 7 0 50:43 6 4 1-14:46 15
16 Roger Bean 22 Great Britain GBR 1-24:07.5 5 1-19:07.5 19 2 17:55 30 3 40:35 35 0 55:22 26 0 1-15:39 16
17 Lars-Göran Arwidson 21 Sweden SWE 1-24:08.9 6 1-18:08.9 12 0 15:49 6 3 38:19 20 0 52:26 =12 3 1-15:40 17
18 Dieter Speer 25 East Germany GDR 1-24:13.3 6 1-18:13.3 14 2 17:26 23 2 39:29 32 1 54:42 21 1 1-16:07 19
19 Olle Petrusson 24 Sweden SWE 1-24:31.2 6 1-18:31.2 15 3 18:43 38 0 38:41 22 2 55:00 25 1 1-16:05 18
20 Holmfrid Olsson 24 Sweden SWE 1-25:01.8 6 1-19:01.8 18 2 17:43 26 2 39:22 31 2 56:11 29 0 1-16:29 21
21 Hansjörg Knauthe 23 East Germany GDR 1-25:04.9 2 1-23:04.9 42 1 17:21 22 1 39:09 28 0 54:38 20 0 1-16:14 20
22 Vilmoş Gheorghe 27 Romania ROU 1-26:07.3 6 1-20:07.3 26 3 18:55 39 0 38:45 23 3 56:38 31 0 1-17:32 23
23 Gheorghe Cimpoia 28 Romania ROU 1-26:36.5 1 1-25:36.5 53 0 16:28 13 0 37:57 16 1 54:54 23 0 1-17:15 22
24 Heinz Kluge 29 East Germany GDR 1-26:55.2 7 1-19:55.2 25 0 15:51 8 1 37:12 12 1 53:11 16 5 1-18:36 24
25 Yrjö Salpakari 22 Finland FIN 1-27:11.6 7 1-20:11.6 27 2 17:48 27 1 39:13 =29 2 56:05 28 2 1-18:52 28
26 Ragnar Tveiten 29 Norway NOR 1-27:17.4 11 1-16:17.4 3 4 19:06 =40 0 38:09 18 2 54:11 19 5 1-18:59 29
27 Ralph Wakley 26 United States USA 1-27:32.9 5 1-22:32.9 40 1 17:29 24 1 38:53 25 3 57:38 37 0 1-18:49 =26
28 Miki Shibuya 27 Japan JPN 1-27:37.1 6 1-21:37.1 33 1 17:15 =20 1 38:54 26 4 57:36 35 0 1-18:46 25
29 Nicolae Bărbăşescu 27 Romania ROU 1-28:05.3 4 1-24:05.3 49 2 17:59 33 0 39:05 27 0 54:53 22 2 1-18:49 =26
30 Nore Westin 30 Sweden SWE 1-28:09.4 7 1-21:09.4 32 1 17:13 19 2 39:13 =29 2 56:15 30 2 1-19:16 30
31 Mauno Luukkonen 33 Finland FIN 1-28:15.8 9 1-19:15.8 21 4 19:52 48 2 41:34 37 3 59:17 39 0 1-19:57 32
32 Gerhard Gehring 22 West Germany FRG 1-28:26.8 8 1-20:26.8 29 2 17:57 =31 1 38:49 24 2 55:47 27 3 1-19:37 31
33 Isao Ono 25 Japan JPN 1-28:47.8 8 1-20:47.8 30 2 17:53 28 0 38:03 17 1 53:53 17 5 1-20:04 33
34 Shozo Okuyama 28 Japan JPN 1-28:51.0 7 1-21:51.0 37 3 19:29 =44 0 39:55 33 2 57:11 34 2 1-20:25 35
35 Jean-Claude Viry 24 France FRA 1-29:16.2 10 1-19:16.2 22 2 17:38 25 4 41:39 39 1 57:37 36 3 1-20:51 36
36 Frederick Andrew 27 Great Britain GBR 1-29:21.3 7 1-22:21.3 39 1 17:15 =20 0 37:40 15 2 54:59 24 4 1-20:15 34
37 Bill Spencer 31 United States USA 1-30:17.7 10 1-20:17.7 28 2 18:11 34 3 41:33 36 1 57:00 32 4 1-21:41 =37
38 Bayanjavyn Damdinjav 32 Mongolia MGL 1-30:30.7 6 1-24:30.7 50 1 17:57 =31 3 42:23 41 1 59:04 38 1 1-21:41 =37
39 Xaver Kraus 33 West Germany FRG 1-30:40.2 12 1-18:40.2 17 4 20:10 50 3 42:53 42 2 59:38 41 3 1-22:23 39
40 Paul Ernst 32 Austria AUT 1-31:47.9 6 1-25:47.9 54 1 17:54 29 4 43:33 =45 1 1-00:16 43 0 1-22:33 40
41 Herbert Hindelang 27 West Germany FRG 1-31:48.5 10 1-21:48.5 36 3 19:29 =44 5 44:19 52 1 1-00:32 44 1 1-22:58 42
42 Aimé Gruet-Masson 27 France FRA 1-31:50.4 11 1-20:50.4 31 3 19:06 =40 4 43:32 44 3 1-01:36 49 1 1-23:23 43
43 Hajime Yoshimura 29 Japan JPN 1-32:05.5 9 1-23:05.5 43 3 19:56 49 3 43:55 49 2 1-01:15 47 1 1-23:33 45
44 Alan Notley 27 Great Britain GBR 1-32:23.1 7 1-25:23.1 52 7 23:29 59 0 44:47 54 0 1-00:37 45 0 1-22:37 41
45 Edward Williams 25 United States USA 1-32:24.5 9 1-23:24.5 45 2 18:34 36 5 44:24 53 0 59:28 40 2 1-23:28 44
46 Esko Karu 21 Canada CAN 1-32:42.9 11 1-21:42.9 34 1 16:36 15 3 40:18 34 2 57:10 33 5 1-23:48 46
47 Horst Schneider 28 Austria AUT 1-33:49.6 9 1-24:49.6 51 3 19:50 47 2 42:54 43 1 59:46 42 3 1-24:46 47
48 Józef Stopka 26 Poland POL 1-34:17.7 12 1-22:17.7 38 4 20:36 52 4 44:59 56 3 1-03:00 52 1 1-25:24 50
49 Jon Chaffee 23 United States USA 1-34:21.1 11 1-23:21.1 44 3 19:23 43 2 42:19 40 4 1-01:34 48 2 1-25:23 49
50 Adolf Scherwitzl 29 Austria AUT 1-34:21.7 4 1-30:21.7 59 2 19:36 46 0 41:35 38 1 1-00:44 46 1 1-25:04 48
51 George Ede 27 Canada CAN 1-34:41.8 8 1-26:41.8 56 2 19:11 42 2 43:43 47 4 1-03:50 56 0 1-25:39 51
52 Bizyaagiin Dashgai 33 Mongolia MGL 1-34:55.8 8 1-26:55.8 57 5 22:08 57 2 46:26 57 1 1-03:45 55 0 1-25:57 53
53 James Boyde 24 Canada CAN 1-35:02.0 8 1-27:02.0 58 3 20:24 51 2 43:58 50 2 1-02:30 51 1 1-25:50 52
54 George Rattai 24 Canada CAN 1-35:03.0 11 1-24:03.0 48 1 18:19 35 5 43:53 48 2 1-01:48 50 3 1-26:05 54
55 Ladislav Žižka 22 Czechoslovakia TCH 1-35:45.3 14 1-21:45.3 35 7 23:11 58 5 48:15 58 0 1-03:31 54 2 1-26:50 55
56 Franz Vetter 34 Austria AUT 1-36:25.0 20 1-16:25.0 4 5 20:46 53 5 44:49 55 5 1-03:51 57 5 1-28:19 56
57 Louis Romand 33 France FRA 1-37:55.2 12 1-25:55.2 55 4 21:21 54 2 44:12 51 3 1-03:11 53 3 1-28:43 57
58 Guy Duraffourg 31 France FRA 1-41:51.4 18 1-23:51.4 47 5 21:52 55 7 49:37 59 4 1-09:29 59 2 1-33:04 58
59 Marcus Halliday 30 Great Britain GBR 1-42:40.5 19 1-23:40.5 46 5 22:00 56 1 43:33 =45 7 1-06:17 58 6 1-33:36 59
AC Józef Gąsienica Sobczak 33 Poland POL DNF