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Speed Skating at the 1968 Grenoble Winter Games:

Men's 1,500 metres

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Host City: Grenoble, France
Venue(s): Speed Skating Rink, Grenoble
Date Started: February 16, 1968
Date Finished: February 16, 1968

Gold: NED Kees Verkerk
Silver: NOR Ivar Eriksen
NED Ard Schenk

Summary

This event looked to be a battle between two Dutch skaters, Ard Schenk and Kees Verkerk, who was the 1964 silver medalist, the 1966 and 1967 World All-Around Champion, and the 1967 European Champion. Between them they had won the distance at most of the recent international tournaments, including the 1966 and 1967 World and European Championships. But the 1968 Europeans had been held shortly before the Winter Olympics and that distance was won by Soviet skater Eduard Matusevich. Another contender was the world record holder, Magne Thomassen of Norway, who had recorded 2:02.5 in Davos only 11 days previously.

Schenk and Matusevich were the first favorites off, together in the second pair, and Schenk posted 2:05.0 for the others to shoot at, while Matusevich trailed in 2:06.1, and would eventually place eighth. Verkerk was in the sixth pair and he was right on pace through 700 metres, and slightly ahead at 1,100. He finished in 2:03.4, which would easily win him the gold medal. Five pairs later, Norway’s Ivar Eriksen came through to tie Schenk in 2:05.0. He was followed by Thomassen, who skated in the 12th pair, and finished in 2:05.1, just outside the medals.

Verkerk had been around since 1963 at an international level and his career would last until 1974, during which he would win the 1966 and 1967 World Championships and the 1967 European Championship. He would finish his career with four Olympic medals, but this would be his only gold. Schenk would soon become the greatest skater in the world, and one of the greatest ever. In 1972 at Sapporo, he would gold medals in all but the 500 metres. During his career he set 18 world records, and won the World Championships consecutively from 1970-72 and the European Championships in 1966 and 1970.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T 3c 7c 1.1k
1 Kees Verkerk 25 Netherlands NED Gold 2:03.4 26 58 1:30 OR
2T Ivar Eriksen 25 Norway NOR Silver 2:05.0 26 57 1:30
2T Ard Schenk 23 Netherlands NED Silver 2:05.0 26 58 1:31 OR
4 Magne Thomassen 26 Norway NOR 2:05.1 26 57 1:30
5T Johnny Höglin 24 Sweden SWE 2:05.2 27 59 1:31
5T Bjørn Tveter 23 Norway NOR 2:05.2 26 57 1:30
7 Svein-Erik Stiansen 25 Norway NOR 2:05.5 26 58 1:31
8 Eduard Matusevich 30 Soviet Union URS 2:06.1 26 58 1:31
9 Peter Nottet 23 Netherlands NED 2:06.3 27 58 1:32
10 Örjan Sandler 27 Sweden SWE 2:07.0 27 59 1:32
11 Aleksandr Kerchenko 21 Soviet Union URS 2:07.1 26 58 1:31 OR
12T Ants Antson 29 Soviet Union URS 2:07.2 27 59 1:33
12T Valery Kaplan 24 Soviet Union URS 2:07.2 26 58 1:32
14 Jouko Launonen 28 Finland FIN 2:07.5 26 59 1:32
15 Günter Traub 28 West Germany FRG 2:07.7 26 58 1:32
16T Jan Bols 23 Netherlands NED 2:07.8 27 59 1:33
16T Manne Lavås 23 Sweden SWE 2:07.8 26 57 1:32
18 Kimmo Koskinen 19 Finland FIN 2:07.9 26 59 1:33
19 Richie Wurster 25 United States USA 2:08.4 26 58 1:32
20 Göran Claeson 22 Sweden SWE 2:08.6 27 59 1:33
21 Olavi Hjellman 22 Finland FIN 2:10.1 27 1:00 1:34
22 Jürgen Traub 24 West Germany FRG 2:10.2 27 1:00 1:34
23 Wayne LeBombard 23 United States USA 2:11.2 27 1:00 1:35
24T Raimo Hietala 21 Finland FIN 2:11.7 28 1:01 1:36
24T Bill Lanigan 20 United States USA 2:11.7 27 1:00 1:35
26 Bob Hodges 24 Canada CAN 2:12.0 27 1:00 1:35
27 György Martos 24 Hungary HUN 2:12.2 26 1:00 1:35
28 John Tipper 23 Great Britain GBR 2:12.4 27 1:00 1:35
29 György Ivánkai 30 Hungary HUN 2:12.6 28 1:02 1:37
30 Tadao Ishihata 26 Japan JPN 2:12.7 27 1:02 1:36
31 Keiichi Suzuki 25 Japan JPN 2:13.1 27 1:00 1:35
32 Giancarlo Gloder 22 Italy ITA 2:13.2 28 1:02 1:36
33 Elio Locatelli 24 Italy ITA 2:13.3 26 1:00 1:36
34T Roger Capan 22 United States USA 2:13.6 26 59 1:35
34T Renato De Riva 30 Italy ITA 2:13.6 27 1:00 1:36
36 Michel Thépénier 23 France FRA 2:13.7 27 1:02 1:38
37 François Perrenoud 18 France FRA 2:14.0 28 1:02 1:37
38 Guido Gillarduzzi 28 Italy ITA 2:14.1 28 1:01 1:37
39 Otmar Braunecker 24 Austria AUT 2:14.4 27 1:01 1:37
40T Mutsuhiko Maeda 20 Japan JPN 2:14.8 28 1:02 1:38
40T Hermann Strutz 29 Austria AUT 2:14.8 28 1:02 1:37
40T Masaki Suzuki 23 Japan JPN 2:14.8 26 59 1:35
43 Geoff Stockdale 23 Great Britain GBR 2:15.6 27 1:01 1:38
44 Erich Korbel 26 Austria AUT 2:15.7 27 1:03 1:38
45 Mihály Martos 23 Hungary HUN 2:15.8 28 1:02 1:38
46 Pete Williamson 21 Canada CAN 2:16.0 27 1:01 1:38
47 Hansruedi Widmer 23 Switzerland SUI 2:16.1 27 1:02 1:39
48 Franz Krienbühl 38 Switzerland SUI 2:16.3 28 1:02 1:38
49T Colin Coates 21 Australia AUS 2:16.7 28 1:01 1:38
49T Luvsanlkhagvyn Dashnyam 27 Mongolia MGL 2:16.7 27 1:01 1:37
51 Lee Ik-Hwan 22 South Korea KOR 2:17.5 28 1:03 1:39
52 Büjiin Jalbaa 24 Mongolia MGL 2:18.0 28 1:03 1:39
53 David Bodington 20 Great Britain GBR 2:19.1 27 1:02 1:40