You Are Here > SR/Olympics > Winter Games > 1972 Sapporo > Biathlon > Men's 20 kilometres

Biathlon at the 1972 Sapporo Winter Games:

Men's 20 kilometres

Biathlon at the 1972 Winter Games: Previous Winter Games ▪ Next Winter Games

Events:
Phases:

Host City: Sapporo, Japan
Venue(s): Makomanai Biathlon Site, Sapporo
Date Started: February 9, 1972
Date Finished: February 9, 1972
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: GDR Hansjörg Knauthe
Bronze: SWE Lars-Göran Arwidson

Summary

Originally scheduled for 8 February, after 35 skiers had started the event was cancelled because of a snow storm, which made the shooting conditions almost impossible, and was re-scheduled for the next day.

Soviet’s Aleksandr Tikhonov had been the dominant biathlete since his silver medal at the 1968 Winter Olympics, winning individual World Championships gold in 1969 and 1970, silver in 1971, and was also a member of the gold winning Soviet relay team all three years. Magnar Solberg, the surprise Olympic gold medalist from 1968, had won individual bronze medals in the World Championships in 1969 and 1971, and silver with the Norwegian relay team in 1969, 1970 and 1971. However, he still had no medals from Norwegian Championships, and the 35-year old policeman from Trondheim showed no signs of Olympic form at the start of the 1972 season, and was not, in fact, originally chosen for the Norwegian team. The selection committee agreed to give him an extra chance, and he again showed that he was made for big occasions.

After the first shooting round Solberg was in the lead with no misses, 22 seconds ahead of the Swede Lars-Göran Arwidson, with Finland’s Yrjö Salpakari third, 10 seconds behind Arwidson. The favorite Tikhonov had three penalty minutes and was far behind. After the second shooting, Arwidson had taken a clear lead with a perfect round with the rifle. A big surprise was the 27-year-old Italian, Willy Bertin, who had started with one penalty minute, but now had a perfect round and climbed to second, 49 seconds behind Arwidson, and closely followed by Salkapari. Solberg had one penalty minute and dropped down to seventh place, 1:35 behind the leader.

After the third round of shooting the situation changed. Bertin had another perfect round and took over the lead, 32 seconds ahead of East Germany’s Hansjörg Knauthe, who had a one minute penalty from the first shooting round but since then had moved steadily up in the rankings. Salkapari was still in third, closely followed by Solberg, moving from seventh to fourth in spite of one additional penalty minute. Arwidson had two penalty minutes and dropped from first to fifth, but only 11 seconds behind the bronze position.

At the final shooting round, Bertin had four penalty minutes and was out of contention for a medal. Both Solberg, Knauthe, Arwidson and Salpakari had perfect shooting series, but Solberg was the fastest skiier and had a seven seconds lead over Knauthe. Arvidsson and Salpakari were 35 and 45 seconds behind, with no chances for gold. At the finish Solberg had extended his lead over Knauthe to 12 seconds and won his second Olympic gold medal, as dominant as he had been in 1968. Arwidson was able to defend his bronze medal position, ahead of fast finishing Tikhonov, who passed Salpakari in the final stages of the race. Finland’s Esko Saira was the fastest skier of the day, but had to be content with sixth place due to five penalty minutes. A few weeks after his second Olympic gold medal, Solberg was finally able to win a national championship gold medal, and after that he left top-sport to pursue a career as a police officer and criminal investigator.

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 34 Norway NOR Gold 1-15:55.50 2 1-13:55.50 4 0 16:44.92 1 1 35:18.63 8 1 51:34.82 4 0 1-07:38.85 1
2 Hansjörg Knauthe 27 East Germany GDR Silver 1-16:07.60 1 1-15:07.60 8 1 18:11.01 16 0 34:49.56 5 0 51:02.26 2 0 1-07:45.25 2
3 Lars-Göran Arwidson 25 Sweden SWE Bronze 1-16:27.03 2 1-14:27.03 6 0 17:06.00 3 0 33:43.37 1 2 51:39.35 5 0 1-08:13.40 3
4 Aleksandr Tikhonov 25 Soviet Union URS 1-16:48.65 4 1-12:48.65 2 3 20:05.40 43 1 37:23.91 22 0 52:43.01 15 0 1-08:44.20 5
5 Yrjö Salpakari 26 Finland FIN 1-16:51.43 2 1-14:51.43 7 0 17:16.53 4 1 34:35.96 3 1 51:28.11 3 0 1-08:23.44 4
6 Esko Saira 33 Finland FIN 1-17:34.80 5 1-12:34.80 1 2 18:33.74 22 1 35:50.02 11 1 52:11.66 8 1 1-09:27.73 6
7 Viktor Mamatov 34 Soviet Union URS 1-18:16.26 2 1-16:16.26 13 1 18:36.50 24 1 36:24.70 16 0 52:37.49 13 0 1-09:54.30 7
8 Tor Svendsberget 24 Norway NOR 1-18:26.54 3 1-15:26.54 10 0 16:56.54 2 1 34:51.01 6 1 52:02.39 7 1 1-10:01.02 8
9 Aleksander Klima 26 Poland POL 1-19:00.86 2 1-17:00.86 22 1 18:56.83 25 0 36:06.21 12 0 52:23.80 9 1 1-10:25.99 10
10 Daniel Claudon 28 France FRA 1-19:14.67 1 1-18:14.67 31 0 18:10.49 15 1 36:06.64 13 0 52:36.49 12 0 1-10:18.51 9
11 Keith Oliver 24 Great Britain GBR 1-20:40.31 3 1-17:40.31 27 0 17:43.39 6 0 34:45.04 4 1 52:23.59 11 2 1-12:09.88 13
12 Ivan Biakov 27 Soviet Union URS 1-20:42.78 3 1-17:42.78 28 0 17:46.40 7 2 36:47.48 19 1 54:07.94 20 0 1-11:54.86 11
13 Dieter Speer 29 East Germany GDR 1-20:43.63 7 1-13:43.63 3 1 17:58.32 9 1 35:08.64 7 1 51:45.46 6 4 1-12:31.90 15
14 Peter Karns 26 United States USA 1-20:59.67 2 1-18:59.67 34 0 17:59.83 10 0 35:23.96 9 0 52:23.24 10 2 1-12:02.91 12
15 Günter Bartnik 22 East Germany GDR 1-21:01.73 5 1-16:01.73 11 1 18:23.14 18 1 36:14.32 14 1 53:34.09 18 2 1-12:37.21 16
16 Willy Bertin 27 Italy ITA 1-21:03.04 5 1-16:03.04 12 1 18:01.28 12 0 34:32.34 2 0 50:30.10 1 4 1-12:24.34 14
17 Miki Shibuya 31 Japan JPN 1-21:57.27 5 1-16:57.27 21 1 18:25.90 19 1 36:43.63 18 0 52:42.14 14 3 1-13:14.45 17
18 Kåre Hovda 28 Norway NOR 1-22:20.37 6 1-16:20.37 14 1 18:30.83 21 2 37:32.81 24 1 54:50.45 21 2 1-13:55.53 20
19 Rinnat Safin 31 Soviet Union URS 1-22:22.59 7 1-15:22.59 9 3 20:26.82 44 2 39:08.35 33 1 55:58.49 27 1 1-13:59.28 21
20 Horst Koschka 28 East Germany GDR 1-22:24.58 5 1-17:24.58 26 0 17:23.99 5 3 38:00.53 28 0 54:01.56 19 2 1-13:32.02 18
21 Holmfrid Olsson 28 Sweden SWE 1-22:28.78 3 1-19:28.78 42 0 18:08.15 13 0 35:37.46 10 1 53:22.74 17 2 1-13:39.49 19
22 Giovanni Astegiano 31 Italy ITA 1-22:45.90 6 1-16:45.90 20 3 20:28.41 45 1 38:38.63 30 1 55:53.00 26 1 1-14:05.93 22
23 Shozo Sasaki 28 Japan JPN 1-23:05.54 5 1-18:05.54 30 1 19:00.02 26 3 39:21.71 34 1 56:57.07 31 0 1-14:37.34 25
24 Dennis Donahue 27 United States USA 1-23:20.39 4 1-19:20.39 39 1 19:14.76 30 0 36:37.24 17 3 56:37.25 29 0 1-14:19.96 23
25 Isao Ono 29 Japan JPN 1-23:26.83 7 1-16:26.83 16 5 22:39.07 52 0 39:45.63 37 0 55:52.32 25 2 1-14:46.16 26
26 Jeffrey Stevens 26 Great Britain GBR 1-23:28.95 4 1-19:28.95 43 0 18:00.77 11 2 37:45.17 27 1 55:49.60 24 1 1-14:32.00 24
27 Mauri Röppänen 26 Finland FIN 1-23:45.88 7 1-16:45.88 19 1 18:20.75 17 2 37:01.37 20 2 55:42.68 22 2 1-15:00.38 27
28 Victor Fontana 23 Romania ROU 1-24:17.85 5 1-19:17.85 37 0 17:50.31 8 2 37:27.09 23 3 57:21.47 36 0 1-15:16.22 28
29 Ragnar Tveiten 33 Norway NOR 1-24:19.91 7 1-17:19.91 24 2 19:37.93 35 3 40:11.65 41 0 56:45.43 30 2 1-15:37.48 29
30 Juhani Suutarinen 28 Finland FIN 1-24:25.99 10 1-14:25.99 5 2 19:01.48 28 2 37:34.27 25 0 53:22.25 16 6 1-15:55.25 30
31 Pierantonio Clementi 24 Italy ITA 1-25:28.74 6 1-19:28.74 41 3 20:59.51 48 1 40:12.80 42 0 57:00.81 32 2 1-16:54.35 31
32 Vilmoş Gheorghe 31 Romania ROU 1-25:52.27 8 1-17:52.27 29 2 19:32.82 32 5 41:49.37 47 0 58:25.39 39 1 1-17:00.64 32
33 Andrzej Rapacz 23 Poland POL 1-26:21.02 9 1-17:21.02 25 2 19:16.69 31 4 39:59.45 38 0 56:26.91 28 3 1-17:48.60 33
34 Nicolae Veştea 21 Romania ROU 1-27:08.21 6 1-21:08.21 48 0 18:09.60 14 1 37:44.07 26 1 55:48.47 23 4 1-18:04.63 34
35 Józef Stopka 30 Poland POL 1-27:18.66 8 1-19:18.66 38 2 19:46.75 39 2 39:25.59 35 1 57:05.53 34 3 1-18:09.44 35
36 Ladislav Žižka 26 Czechoslovakia TCH 1-27:36.81 11 1-16:36.81 17 6 23:34.17 53 1 41:40.32 45 1 59:04.83 41 3 1-19:05.60 36
37 René Arpin 28 France FRA 1-27:52.64 8 1-19:52.64 44 1 19:01.53 27 3 40:00.25 39 1 57:52.12 38 3 1-19:07.66 37
38 Kazuo Sasakubo 25 Japan JPN 1-28:07.43 9 1-19:07.43 35 3 20:47.35 46 4 42:44.87 49 1 1-00:28.54 47 1 1-19:10.72 39
39 Arnošt Hájek 30 Czechoslovakia TCH 1-28:22.37 9 1-19:22.37 40 3 21:08.51 51 3 41:41.21 46 2 1-00:44.36 48 1 1-19:35.29 41
40 Lino Jordan 27 Italy ITA 1-28:26.09 12 1-16:26.09 15 2 19:51.31 41 3 38:58.22 32 2 57:10.92 35 5 1-19:48.18 42
41 Terry Morse 25 United States USA 1-28:40.14 7 1-21:40.14 50 1 19:11.30 29 1 38:21.34 29 4 1-00:03.55 45 1 1-19:09.90 38
42 Olle Petrusson 28 Sweden SWE 1-28:40.58 12 1-16:40.58 18 2 19:35.53 33 0 36:22.50 15 5 57:44.72 37 5 1-19:51.52 43
43 Alan Notley 31 Great Britain GBR 1-28:48.72 7 1-21:48.72 51 1 19:42.23 37 2 39:43.57 36 4 1-01:11.57 49 0 1-19:22.17 40
44 Stanislav Fajstavr 28 Czechoslovakia TCH 1-28:53.33 9 1-19:53.33 45 3 21:03.28 49 1 40:04.76 40 3 1-00:00.10 44 2 1-20:07.91 46
45 Jay Bowerman 29 United States USA 1-29:13.71 7 1-22:13.71 52 1 19:37.25 34 3 40:56.87 44 1 59:34.38 42 2 1-20:06.37 44
46 Josef Niedermeier 29 West Germany FRG 1-29:26.44 8 1-21:26.44 49 2 19:44.73 38 0 37:08.41 21 3 57:01.41 33 3 1-20:06.93 45
47 Pavel Ploc 28 Czechoslovakia TCH 1-29:38.79 11 1-18:38.79 32 1 18:34.32 23 6 42:05.69 48 0 59:01.93 40 4 1-20:52.08 47
48 Andrzej Fiedor 26 Poland POL 1-30:17.25 11 1-19:17.25 36 3 20:54.88 47 4 42:49.60 50 3 1-02:31.88 51 1 1-21:14.97 48
49 Torsten Wadman 24 Sweden SWE 1-30:17.56 13 1-17:17.56 23 2 19:40.23 36 2 38:55.65 31 5 1-00:21.41 46 4 1-21:43.58 49
50 Theo Merkel 37 West Germany FRG 1-30:58.17 11 1-19:58.17 46 2 20:05.45 42 3 40:50.13 43 2 59:45.93 43 4 1-21:49.70 50
51 Aimé Gruet-Masson 31 France FRA 1-33:44.41 15 1-18:44.41 33 2 19:51.05 40 6 43:16.74 52 4 1-03:49.15 52 3 1-24:53.67 52
52 Constantin Carabela 31 Romania ROU 1-33:45.95 11 1-22:45.95 53 3 21:05.47 50 5 44:17.19 53 0 1-01:40.63 50 3 1-24:22.39 51
53 Malcolm Hirst 26 Great Britain GBR 1-34:55.59 14 1-20:55.59 47 0 18:29.29 20 6 42:56.43 51 4 1-03:51.04 53 4 1-25:58.90 53
AC Paul Chassagne 39 France FRA DNF