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Cross Country Skiing at the 1972 Sapporo Winter Games:

Men's 50 kilometres

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Host City: Sapporo, Japan
Venue(s): Makomanai Cross Country Events Site, Sapporo
Date Started: February 10, 1972
Date Finished: February 10, 1972

Gold: NOR Pål Tyldum
Silver: NOR Magne Myrmo
Bronze: URS Vyacheslav Vedenin

Summary

The 50 km at the 1972 Olympics featured a strong field of prominent long distance cross country skiers: reigning World Champion, the very experienced 35-year old Finn Kalevi Oikarainen, defending Olympic Champion Ole Ellefsæter, Olympic silver medalist from 1968 and hungry for another Olympic gold after his 30 km victory, Vyacheslav Vedenin, and the always reliable Norwegian Pål Tyldum, recently Olympic silver medalist in the 30 km, who had finished fourth at the 1968 Olympic 50 km.

At the first official intermediate timing at 15 km, the unmerited 23-year old Werner Geeser from Arosa in Switzerland had taken the lead, wearing an early start number 11. Another early starter, number 2 Ellefsæter, was second, 23 seconds behind, closely followed by Vedenin and the experienced West German Walter Demel. At the halfway point Geeser had increased his lead to 43 seconds, with Vedenin now in second place. Ellefsæter had dropped to seventh, and Fyodor Simashov had moved past Demel into third place. At 40 km the big surprise Geeser was still in the lead with Simashev in second place, 33 seconds behind. But now the Norwegians Tyldum and Magne Myrmo had started to advance, following close behind Simashev in third and fourth place, respectively. Vedenin had dropped to fifth, one minute behind the leader, followed closely by another Norwegian, Reidar Hjermstad and Demel. The time difference between the first seven was only 1:05, and a thrilling finish was expected. At 45 km, Geeser was still in the lead, but now with Tyldum and Myrmo close behind. Simashev was already fading, and the Swiss also began to feel the cost of his fast start. But he finished bravely, having the best finishing time for some minutes until Myrmo finished 1:05 better than the Swiss. Neither Demel, Hjermstad or Vedenin was able to beat Myrmo’s time, Vedenin coming closest half-a-minute behind. Only Tyldum, wearing one of the latest start numbers and known for his ability to dispose his strength optimal in long distance races, could beat Myrmo, by 14 seconds, to secure an impressive double for Norway, with Vedenin in the bronze position. Hjermstad in fourth place made the day perfect for Norway, with defending champion Ellefsæter in 10th place as the last of the Norwegian quartet. Both Tyldum, a 29-year-old farmer from Høylandet, and Myrmo, one year younger and a forestry technician from Rennebu, continued to compete at the top level until the 1976 Olympics, Myrmo achieving international fame for being the last world champion on wooden skis when he won the 15 km race at the 1974 championships.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T I1T I1R I2T I2R I3T I3R
1 Pål Tyldum 29 Norway NOR Gold 2-43:14.75 49:12.84 17 1-20:27.33 10 2-10:58.61 3
2 Magne Myrmo 28 Norway NOR Silver 2-43:29.45 48:35.78 6 1-19:58.81 6 2-11:01.27 4
3 Vyacheslav Vedenin 30 Soviet Union URS Bronze 2-44:00.19 48:20.08 3 1-19:26.59 2 2-11:23.21 5
4 Reidar Hjermstad 34 Norway NOR 2-44:14.51 48:42.64 7 1-19:52.13 5 2-11:25.73 6
5 Walter Demel 36 West Germany FRG 2-44:32.67 48:25.63 4 1-19:42.41 4 2-11:27.06 7
6 Werner Geeser 23 Switzerland SUI 2-44:34.13 47:54.34 1 1-18:43.46 1 2-10:22.96 1
7 Lars-Arne Bölling 27 Sweden SWE 2-45:06.80 49:34.78 19 1-21:25.47 19 2-12:32.20 9
8 Fyodor Simashov 26 Soviet Union URS 2-45:08.93 48:26.85 5 1-19:40.80 3 2-10:56.29 2
9 Gert-Dietmar Klause 26 East Germany GDR 2-46:17.43 48:44.70 8 1-20:13.39 8 2-12:14.10 8
10 Ole Ellefsæter 32 Norway NOR 2-46:46.94 48:19.18 2 1-20:02.66 7 2-12:58.32 10
11 Hans-Erik Larsson 24 Sweden SWE 2-47:59.37 49:33.54 18 1-21:33.28 20 2-14:00.85 14
12 Hannu Taipale 31 Finland FIN 2-48:24.83 49:02.65 13 1-20:57.12 14 2-14:00.20 13
13 Tord Backman 29 Sweden SWE 2-48:53.51 49:07.69 16 1-21:20.53 18 2-14:12.72 15
14 Ulrich Wenger 27 Switzerland SUI 2-49:35.35 49:41.72 21 1-21:41.35 =21 2-14:23.29 16
15 Ivan Pronin 24 Soviet Union URS 2-49:45.59 49:00.96 12 1-21:07.09 15 2-13:38.67 11
16 Eberhard Klessen 22 East Germany GDR 2-49:53.01 48:52.65 10 1-20:45.38 12 2-14:30.46 17
17 Ivan Garanin 26 Soviet Union URS 2-50:00.78 49:04.97 14 1-21:19.96 17 2-14:54.39 19
18 Rainer Groß 24 East Germany GDR 2-50:16.91 49:42.30 22 1-21:14.42 16 2-14:55.32 20
19 Ján Fajstavr 27 Czechoslovakia TCH 2-51:12.92 52:06.14 33 1-25:18.14 29 2-18:23.76 26
20 Gunnar Larsson 27 Sweden SWE 2-51:17.56 48:56.27 11 1-20:49.86 13 2-14:48.35 18
21 Elviro Blanc 27 Italy ITA 2-51:25.19 49:37.43 20 1-21:44.18 23 2-15:34.79 22
22 Attilio Lombard 27 Italy ITA 2-51:39.65 49:43.32 23 1-21:41.35 =21 2-15:30.62 21
23 Louis Jäggi 23 Switzerland SUI 2-53:00.78 48:47.84 9 1-20:17.27 9 2-13:59.20 12
24 Gene Morgan 27 United States USA 2-54:01.52 51:50.75 31 1-25:21.32 31 2-19:17.19 28
25 Tonio Biondini 27 Italy ITA 2-54:28.39 50:09.53 26 1-22:59.96 26 2-17:45.00 24
26 Giuseppe Dermon 26 Switzerland SUI 2-56:24.21 50:43.72 27 1-23:46.56 27 2-19:22.91 29
27 Everett Dunklee 25 United States USA 2-56:42.49 51:22.32 28 1-25:18.84 30 2-20:45.46 31
28 Petar Pankov 26 Bulgaria BUL 2-57:12.15 52:04.63 32 1-25:25.31 33 2-20:44.38 30
29 Seiji Kudo 26 Japan JPN 2-57:42.62 50:02.32 24 1-22:22.57 24 2-18:15.10 25
30 Ján Michalko 24 Czechoslovakia TCH 2-58:31.83 51:47.06 30 1-25:05.62 28 2-20:50.16 32
31 Edgar Eckert 24 West Germany FRG 3-00:08.32 50:03.42 25 1-22:55.88 25 2-19:04.68 27
32 Teuvo Hatunen 27 Finland FIN 3-00:41.72 49:06.90 15 1-20:35.85 11 2-16:10.24 23
33 Bob Gray 32 United States USA 3-01:15.37 51:27.57 29 1-25:21.63 32 2-23:00.21 33
AC Joe McNulty 22 United States USA DNF
AC Ventseslav Stoyanov 25 Bulgaria BUL DNF
AC Ulrico Kostner 26 Italy ITA DNF
AC Jean Jobez 28 France FRA DNF
AC Eero Mäntyranta 34 Finland FIN DNF
AC Motoharu Matsumura 25 Japan JPN DNF
AC Kalevi Oikarainen 35 Finland FIN DNF