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Speed Skating at the 1972 Sapporo Winter Games:

Women's 500 metres

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Host City: Sapporo, Japan
Venue(s): Makomanai Speed Skating Rink, Sapporo
Date Started: February 10, 1972
Date Finished: February 10, 1972

Gold: USA Anne Henning
Silver: URS Vera Krasnova
Bronze: URS Lyudmila Titova

Summary

For the first time an American woman was favored in a speed skating event and that would be Anne Henning. Although defending champion Lyudmila Titova was still around, and had won the 500 and 1,000 at the 1971 and 1972 European Championships, she had been surpassed as a short sprinter by Henning. Henning had set the three most recent world records, two in 1971 in Inzell, and most recently, recording 42.5 at Davos in January 1972. At the 1971 World Sprints she had won both 500s and won the 500 distance at the 1971 World Championships. Titova started in the fourth pair and posted 44.45 to take the lead. Henning was in the next pair with Canada's Sylvia Burka. Henning got off very quickly and was even with Burka at the changeover. But Burka, with poor vision in one eye, did not see Henning and impeded her. Henning held up briefly to avoid a collision, even standing up a bit, but then raced madly to the finish, recording 43.70. Burka was disqualified and Henning was allowed a re-start. In her second run, she bettered her own time, finishing in 43.33. Either of her runs would have won the gold medal. In the sixth pair, East Germany's Ruth Budzisch was considered a threat, as she had won the 1971 World Sprint Championship. But she was better in the 1,000 and her time of 45.78 would place her only 13th. In the 11th pair, Soviet Vera Krasnova came through in 44.01 to earn the silver medal, moving Titova back to bronze.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T 1c
1 Anne Henning 16 United States USA Gold 43.33 10.89 OR
2 Vera Krasnova 21 Soviet Union URS Silver 44.01 11.10
3 Lyudmila Titova 25 Soviet Union URS Bronze 44.45 11.36 OR
4 Sheila Young 21 United States USA 44.53 11.09
5 Monika Gawenus-Holzner-Pflug 17 West Germany FRG 44.75 11.53 OR
6 Atje Keulen-Deelstra 33 Netherlands NED 44.89 11.12
7 Kay Lunda 14 United States USA 44.95 11.23
8 Alla Butova 22 Soviet Union URS 45.17 11.15
9 Sachiko Saito 25 Japan JPN 45.35 11.56
10 Ellie van den Brom 22 Netherlands NED 45.62 11.63
11 Sigrid Sundby-Dybedahl 29 Norway NOR 45.70 11.60
12 Paula Dufter 21 West Germany FRG 45.77 11.6
13 Ruth Budzisch-Schleiermacher 22 East Germany GDR 45.78 11.4
14 Cathy Priestner 15 Canada CAN 45.79 11.5
15 Ann-Sofie Järnström 22 Sweden SWE 45.83 11.47
16 Arja Kantola 22 Finland FIN 46.12 11.45
17 Kirsti Biermann 21 Norway NOR 46.18 11.78
18 Ylva Hedlund 22 Sweden SWE 46.24 11.87
19 Lisbeth Korsmo-Berg 24 Norway NOR 46.33 11.5
20 Trijnie Rep 21 Netherlands NED 46.60 11.77
21 Ryoko Onozawa 21 Japan JPN 46.70 11.9
22 Choi Jung-Hui 20 South Korea KOR 46.74 11.6
23 Sylvia Filipsson 18 Sweden SWE 46.78 12.04
24 Tuula Vilkas 21 Finland FIN 46.85 12.0
25 Donna McCannell 21 Canada CAN 47.30 11.80
26 Lee Gyeong-Hui 13 South Korea KOR 47.45 12.1
27 Monika Stützle 18 West Germany FRG 48.15 12.2
28 Tak In-Suk 22 North Korea PRK 55.80 11.45 fall
AC Sylvia Burka 17 Canada CAN [56.26] [11.42] DQ/fall