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Speed Skating at the 1968 Grenoble Winter Games:

Women's 1,500 metres

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Host City: Grenoble, France
Venue(s): Speed Skating Rink, Grenoble
Date Started: February 10, 1968
Date Finished: February 10, 1968

Gold: FIN Kaija Mustonen
Silver: NED Carry Geijssen
Bronze: NED Stien Baas-Kaiser

Summary

The Netherlands' Stien Kaiser had to be favored. She had not lost the distance at any major meet since the 1966 World Championship, when she was second, and she had won the distance and the all-around at the 1967 and 1968 Worlds. The world record was 2:19.0, set by Inga Voronina at Medeo in 1962, but she was long since retired. But skating in the fifth pair, Kaiser posted a pedestrian 2:24.5, which did not even break the Olympic record, although it put her in the lead. But in the next pair, Finland's Kaija Mustonen, who had won the silver medal in the event in 1964, but little else, shattered Kaiser's hopes with an Olympic record 2:22.4. And Kaiser was pushed back to bronze when her teammate, Carry Geijssen, came through in 2:22.7 for a silver medal. Near the end of the event, in the 13th pair, was the two-time defending champion, and six-time Olympic gold medalist, Lidiya Skoblikova. But at the end of her career, she would finish only 11th.

For Kaiser Grenoble would be a horrible Olympic experience. Even a bigger favorite in the 3,000, she would also win bronze in that event, and left France with no gold medals. She would return to the Olympics in 1972 and win a gold in the 3,000 and silver in the 1,500. Geijssen had won the 1966 Dutch All-Around, but usually finished behind her teammate. But the next day, she would win the gold medal in the 1,000, the highlight of her career. Mustonen had an unusual career. This was the only major international race she ever won, but she knew how to come through at the Olympics. In 1964 she won a silver in the 1,500 and bronze in the 1,000, and in Grenoble she would add a silver in the 3,000 to her gold in the 1,500.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T 3c 7c 1.1k
1 Kaija Mustonen 26 Finland FIN Gold 2:22.4 29 1:05 1:43 OR
2 Carry Geijssen 21 Netherlands NED Silver 2:22.7 29 1:05 1:43
3 Stien Baas-Kaiser 29 Netherlands NED Bronze 2:24.5 29 1:06 1:45
4 Sigrid Sundby-Dybedahl 25 Norway NOR 2:25.2 29 1:05 1:44
5 Lāsma Kauniste 25 Soviet Union URS 2:25.4 29 1:06 1:45
6 Kaija-Liisa Keskivitikka 22 Finland FIN 2:25.8 30 1:07 1:46
7 Lyudmila Titova 21 Soviet Union URS 2:26.8 29 1:05 1:44
8 Ruth Budzisch-Schleiermacher 18 East Germany GDR 2:27.1 30 1:07 1:46
9T Christina Lindblom-Scherling 27 Sweden SWE 2:27.5 30 1:07 1:46
9T Hildegard Sellhuber 17 West Germany FRG 2:27.5 30 1:06 1:46
11 Lidiya Skoblikova 28 Soviet Union URS 2:27.6 30 1:07 1:46
12 Ans Schut 23 Netherlands NED 2:28.3 30 1:08 1:48
13 Dianne Holum 16 United States USA 2:28.5 29 1:07 1:46
14T Martine Ivangine 20 France FRA 2:29.9 30 1:07 1:47
14T Kari Kåring 19 Norway NOR 2:29.9 30 1:07 1:48
16 Jeanne Ashworth 29 United States USA 2:30.3 29 1:07 1:48
17 Lisbeth Korsmo-Berg 20 Norway NOR 2:30.7 30 1:08 1:48
18T Christina Karlsson 21 Sweden SWE 2:31.4 30 1:09 1:49
18T Sachiko Saito 21 Japan JPN 2:31.4 29 1:07 1:48
20 Ylva Hedlund 18 Sweden SWE 2:31.5 30 1:08 1:49
21 Doreen McCannell 20 Canada CAN 2:32.2 30 1:09 1:49
22 Arja Kantola 18 Finland FIN 2:33.2 30 1:08 1:49
23 Kaname Ide 20 Japan JPN 2:34.2 31 1:10 1:51
24 Marcia Parsons 19 Canada CAN 2:34.4 30 1:09 1:51
25 Jeanne Omelenchuk 36 United States USA 2:35.5 30 1:10 1:52
26 Jitsuko Saito 21 Japan JPN 2:36.6 31 1:11 1:53
27 Kim Gwi-Jin 22 South Korea KOR 2:36.7 31 1:11 1:53
28 Marie-Louise Perrenoud 20 France FRA 2:39.2 31 1:11 1:54
29 Patricia Demartini 17 France FRA 2:40.6 32 1:12 1:55
30 Paula Dufter 17 West Germany FRG 2:45.2 33 1:14 1:59