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Biathlon at the 1976 Innsbruck Winter Games:

Men's 20 kilometres

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Host City: Innsbruck, Austria
Venue(s): Cross Country Skiing Stadium, Seefeld
Date Started: February 6, 1976
Date Finished: February 6, 1976
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: URS Nikolay Kruglov
Silver: FIN Heikki Ikola
Bronze: URS Aleksandr Yelizarov

Summary

Favorites for the individual 1976 Olympic biathlon gold medal were the 1975 World Champion Heikki Ikola from Finland, runner-up at the same championships Nikolay Kruglov from the Soviet Union, and his experienced teammate Aleksandr Tikhonov. For a long time it looked like the day for a long awaited individual Olympic gold medal for Tikhonov. He was in the lead after the first shooting round, 15 seconds ahead of Ikola, both with perfect shooting series. At the second round, Tikhonov had a one-minute penalty, but he still increased his lead over Ikola to 26 seconds, Kruglov now moving up to third place, 25 seconds behind the Finn. At the third round of shooting all three had perfect series, and Tikhonov increased his lead on Ikola to 1:02. The Finn now had Kruglov on his heels, only eight seconds behind, and the third Soviet competitor Aleksandr Yelizarov had moved up to fourth, 26 seconds behind Kruglov. The three Soviets were clearly the fastest skiers of the day, and Ikola’s only chance seemed to have a perfect shooting result. As usual, the last shooting round turned out to be decisive. The first of the favorites to arrive was Kruglov, and with only one penalty minute he seemed sure of a medal. Next was Ikola. With a perfect round he could take the lead, but he was penalized two minutes, putting him in danger of missing the medals, now 1:24 behind Kruglov. Next to arrive was the leader Tikhonov, but he totally lost his nerves and was penalized six minutes, dropping down to seventh place, and out of the medal race. Yelizarov had a 2-minute penalty and was still behind Ikola, but now only by 19 seconds. Kruglov easily kept his lead to the finish and won by a comfortable margin. Ikola was able to stay in front of Yelizarov and secure the silver medal, 11 seconds ahead of his opponent. Italy’s Willy Bertin finished strongly and advanced to fourth place at the finish, due to a perfect series at the two last shooting rounds. Tikhonov, having the fastest skiing time of the day, almost two minutes faster than Kruglov, was able to advance from seventh to fifth position from the last round of shots to the finish, but was very disappointed with the race, which for a long time, seemed to be a gold medal performance.

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 Nikolay Kruglov 26 Soviet Union URS Gold 1-14:12.26 2 1-12:12.26 2 1 16:53.50 19 0 33:41.44 3 0 50:21.95 3 1 1-08:30.98 1
2 Heikki Ikola 28 Finland FIN Silver 1-15:54.10 2 1-13:54.10 8 0 15:48.49 3 0 33:16.79 2 0 50:13.73 2 2 1-09:54.26 2
3 Aleksandr Yelizarov 23 Soviet Union URS Bronze 1-16:05.57 3 1-13:05.57 3 1 16:39.68 16 0 33:55.85 7 0 50:47.99 4 2 1-10:13.23 3
4 Willy Bertin 31 Italy ITA 1-16:50.36 3 1-13:50.36 6 0 15:52.40 4 3 36:05.90 15 0 52:53.46 11 0 1-10:50.80 4
5 Aleksandr Tikhonov 29 Soviet Union URS 1-17:18.33 7 1-10:18.33 1 0 15:33.31 2 1 32:50.83 1 0 49:11.31 1 6 1-11:44.78 7
6 Esko Saira 37 Finland FIN 1-17:32.84 2 1-15:32.84 15 0 15:57.19 5 0 33:54.16 6 0 51:11.43 6 2 1-11:19.68 5
7 Lino Jordan 31 Italy ITA 1-17:49.83 2 1-15:49.83 16 0 16:28.03 14 0 33:52.62 5 2 53:28.97 12 0 1-11:40.36 6
8 Sune Adolfsson 25 Sweden SWE 1-18:00.50 2 1-16:00.50 17 0 16:10.46 9 0 33:49.59 4 0 51:00.22 5 2 1-11:55.96 8
9 Tor Svendsberget 28 Norway NOR 1-18:10.13 3 1-15:10.13 12 0 16:06.55 7 2 35:26.25 13 1 54:00.35 14 0 1-12:13.76 9
10 Lars-Göran Arwidson 29 Sweden SWE 1-18:34.37 5 1-13:34.37 5 0 16:06.21 8 1 34:05.56 8 1 52:06.98 9 3 1-12:37.27 10
11 Heinrich Mehringer 23 West Germany FRG 1-18:49.15 2 1-16:49.15 23 1 15:24.19 1 1 34:27.22 11 0 52:44.98 10 0 1-12:44.98 11
12 Manfred Geyer 24 East Germany GDR 1-19:11.37 6 1-13:11.37 4 1 16:49.10 17 3 37:01.58 23 2 55:49.88 22 0 1-13:13.79 13
13 Juhani Suutarinen 32 Finland FIN 1-19:25.89 2 1-17:25.89 29 1 17:18.75 26 0 35:15.21 12 1 54:05.81 15 0 1-12:55.16 12
14 Hansruedi Süssli 24 Switzerland SUI 1-19:53.73 3 1-16:53.73 25 0 16:11.02 10 0 34:17.50 10 0 51:58.35 8 3 1-13:40.15 14
15 Karl-Heinz Wolf 24 East Germany GDR 1-20:06.89 5 1-15:06.89 11 1 16:56.61 20 2 36:27.67 17 2 55:56.20 24 0 1-14:07.42 15
16 Gheorghe Voicu 25 Romania ROU 1-21:01.52 5 1-16:01.52 18 1 17:26.05 30 2 37:13.33 25 1 55:42.09 20 1 1-14:52.63 16
17 Antonín Kříž 22 Czechoslovakia TCH 1-21:11.36 4 1-17:11.36 27 1 17:23.53 29 1 36:57.26 21 1 55:44.46 21 1 1-15:06.00 17
18 Kjell Hovda 30 Norway NOR 1-21:24.45 5 1-16:24.45 22 0 16:20.20 11 0 34:11.07 9 0 51:52.81 7 5 1-15:11.35 19
19 Jan Szpunar 23 Poland POL 1-21:27.20 4 1-17:27.20 30 0 16:24.81 12 3 38:06.69 35 1 56:36.20 31 0 1-15:08.85 18
20 Svein Engen 22 Norway NOR 1-21:27.24 7 1-14:27.24 9 2 18:07.77 41 4 39:27.05 45 0 56:56.99 36 1 1-15:32.53 20
21 Alfred Eder 22 Austria AUT 1-22:42.52 8 1-14:42.52 10 2 18:05.05 40 3 38:32.84 40 1 56:39.59 32 2 1-16:29.04 21
22 René Arpin 32 France FRA 1-22:50.92 9 1-13:50.92 7 3 19:25.83 47 2 38:30.89 39 1 56:22.51 29 3 1-16:51.61 23
23 Pierantonio Clementi 28 Italy ITA 1-23:08.86 7 1-16:08.86 19 1 17:29.32 31 3 38:09.15 36 1 56:49.45 35 2 1-17:08.12 27
24 Ladislav Žižka 30 Czechoslovakia TCH 1-23:09.03 4 1-19:09.03 40 0 16:49.16 18 2 37:19.15 26 2 57:31.21 39 0 1-16:32.80 22
25 Albert Mächler 25 Switzerland SUI 1-23:28.66 6 1-17:28.66 31 2 18:31.84 43 1 37:25.54 30 1 56:16.67 27 2 1-16:59.74 24
26 Josef Niedermeier 33 West Germany FRG 1-23:33.63 5 1-18:33.63 37 0 16:06.05 6 3 37:32.88 33 0 56:01.73 26 2 1-17:06.23 25
27 Manfred Beer 22 East Germany GDR 1-23:42.50 5 1-18:42.50 39 1 17:03.26 22 2 37:22.30 28 0 55:37.45 19 2 1-17:07.60 26
28 Wojciech Truchan 27 Poland POL 1-24:09.93 7 1-18:02.62 32 1 17:37.73 34 1 36:39.71 18 0 54:25.91 16 5 1-18:31.90 30
29 Graeme Ferguson 23 Great Britain GBR 1-24:18.09 8 1-16:09.93 20 1 17:18.65 25 2 36:58.18 22 3 57:54.97 40 2 1-17:59.32 28
30 Hiroyuki Deguchi 23 Japan JPN 1-24:53.84 6 1-18:18.09 35 0 17:03.68 21 2 37:21.69 27 0 55:30.34 17 4 1-18:02.18 29
31 Gheorghe Gârniţă 25 Romania ROU 1-25:00.71 4 1-20:53.84 47 0 17:21.35 28 0 36:03.61 14 2 56:40.97 33 2 1-18:38.07 31
32 Khristo Madzharov 32 Bulgaria BUL 1-25:02.62 8 1-17:00.71 26 0 16:27.62 13 1 36:24.14 16 0 53:36.84 13 7 1-19:03.10 33
33 Jean-Claude Viry 32 France FRA 1-25:09.51 7 1-18:09.51 33 0 17:08.56 23 2 36:54.61 20 1 56:00.48 25 4 1-18:45.54 32
34 Alois Kanamüller 23 West Germany FRG 1-25:25.26 8 1-17:25.26 28 1 17:49.12 37 2 38:11.30 37 2 57:55.16 41 3 1-19:15.33 34
35 Lyle Nelson 26 United States USA 1-25:27.50 10 1-15:27.50 14 1 17:20.51 27 4 38:51.87 43 3 59:20.44 47 2 1-19:28.46 35
36 Malcolm Hirst 30 Great Britain GBR 1-25:52.97 9 1-16:52.97 24 2 18:31.34 44 1 37:22.90 29 1 56:20.81 28 5 1-19:44.37 36
37 Franz-Josef Weber 23 Austria AUT 1-26:14.92 10 1-16:14.92 21 3 19:40.21 48 0 37:12.50 24 1 55:56.44 23 6 1-20:03.79 38
38 Manabu Suzuki 29 Japan JPN 1-26:35.79 7 1-19:35.79 42 1 17:51.55 38 1 37:29.53 32 1 56:46.47 34 4 1-19:59.89 37
39 Jeffrey Stevens 30 Great Britain GBR 1-27:15.87 9 1-18:15.87 34 1 17:53.66 39 1 37:28.38 31 0 55:35.93 18 7 1-20:59.21 40
40 Christian Danuser 22 Switzerland SUI 1-27:16.43 7 1-20:16.43 44 0 17:09.60 24 3 38:41.33 42 0 57:24.52 37 4 1-20:49.56 39
41 Kazuo Sasakubo 29 Japan JPN 1-27:35.31 6 1-21:35.31 49 0 17:32.60 33 2 38:35.26 41 1 58:33.32 43 3 1-21:02.61 41
42 Aimé Gruet-Masson 35 France FRA 1-27:35.81 9 1-18:35.81 38 2 18:45.73 45 2 39:01.25 44 0 57:29.21 38 5 1-21:22.41 42
43 Iliya Todorov 22 Bulgaria BUL 1-27:57.60 7 1-20:57.60 48 1 17:39.19 35 2 38:19.29 38 1 58:05.74 42 3 1-21:28.36 43
44 Josef Malínský 22 Czechoslovakia TCH 1-28:09.18 9 1-19:09.18 41 1 17:29.72 32 4 39:46.02 46 1 59:04.94 46 3 1-21:32.84 44
45 Nicolae Cristoloveanu 23 Romania ROU 1-28:15.53 8 1-20:15.53 43 0 16:28.65 15 2 36:53.12 19 1 56:32.94 30 5 1-21:36.57 45
46 Andrzej Rapacz 27 Poland POL 1-28:30.82 10 1-18:30.82 36 1 17:41.10 36 4 40:23.70 47 1 59:03.80 45 4 1-22:16.66 47
47 Martin Hagen 21 United States USA 1-28:49.20 8 1-20:49.20 46 2 18:51.70 46 4 41:31.85 48 2 1-02:32.99 48 0 1-22:08.52 46
48 Torsten Wadman 28 Sweden SWE 1-30:20.34 15 1-15:20.34 13 2 18:21.17 42 2 37:42.79 34 4 59:03.57 44 7 1-24:13.98 48
49 Klaus Farbmacher 29 Austria AUT 1-36:31.07 16 1-20:31.07 45 4 21:14.14 49 5 45:06.12 49 3 1-06:41.56 49 4 1-30:01.95 49
50 Ueng Ming-Yih 23 Chinese Taipei TPE 1-42:09.37 10 1-32:09.37 50 4 23:19.77 50 2 46:51.05 50 1 1-09:15.23 50 3 1-34:49.66 50
51 Shen Li-Chien 24 Chinese Taipei TPE 1-58:32.91 9 1-49:32.91 51 2 25:26.47 51 3 53:19.92 51 2 1-20:53.68 51 2 1-49:35.83 51
AC Peter Dascoulias 26 United States USA DNF