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Cross Country Skiing at the 1976 Innsbruck Winter Games:

Men's 15 kilometres

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Host City: Innsbruck, Austria
Venue(s): Cross Country Skiing Stadium, Seefeld
Date Started: February 8, 1976
Date Finished: February 8, 1976

Gold: URS Nikolay Bazhukov
Silver: URS Yevgeny Belyayev
Bronze: FIN Arto Koivisto

Summary

The newly crowned Olympic champion in 30 km, Sergey Savelyev, was not in the Soviet quartet for the 15 km race, as he chose to concentrate on the relay and the 50 km race. In his place was another unknown Soviet skier, 21-year old Yevgeny Belyayev. The defending Olympic Champion Sven-Åke Lundbäck was on the Swedish team, and the last World Champion on wooden skis, the 15 km gold medalist from the 1974 World Championships, Norwegian Magne Myrmo, was also among the 80 competitors, but none of them had shown signs of their former brilliance during the Olympic season. The Soviets were highly favored, and the Nordic hopes were the consistent Finn Juha Mieto and the Norwegian Ivar Formo, 1972 Olympic bronze medalist at the distance.

To everyone's surprise, at 5 km, Arto Koivisto was in the lead, three seconds ahead of the Soviet Union's Nikolay Bazhukov with his teammate Belyayev another three seconds behind. Another Soviet skier, Ivan Garanin, was in fourth place, and the first four had taken a clear lead over the rest of the field. At 10 km, Bazhukov had taken over the lead, four seconds ahead of Koivisto, with Belyayev third 14 seconds behind and Garanin still fourth. Formo was a distant fifth, almost 40 seconds behind Garanin. Inspired by his team leaders, Koivisto now tried hard to catch Bazhukov. Five kilometers from home they were equal, but then, in a downhill part of the track, Koivisto had to throw himself down to avoid a collision with a tourist who had found his way onto the Olympic track. He lost a lot of time, and Bazhukov finished 2.7 seconds ahead of the fast-finishing Belyayev, with Koivisto able to secure the bronze medal, 21 seconds behind the winner. Only Belyayev had a faster finish than the young American Bill Koch, who was in 15th place after 5 km, 12th after 10 km, advancing to sixth at the finish, only three seconds behind Formo, proving that his silver medal in the 30 km race three days earlier was certainly not just a stroke of good fortune. Defending champion Lundbäck ended in 30th place, and the World Champion on wooden skis from 1974, Magne Myrmo, was a distant 55th, five and a half minutes behind the winner.

The new Olympic Champion was only 22, and born in a village by the Pechora River in the Komi Republic in Northwest Russia. His first international appearance was the 1975 Holmenkollen 15 km race, ending in a modest 32nd place, 2½ minutes behind the winner Juha Mieto.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T I1T I1R I2T I2R
1 Nikolay Bazhukov 22 Soviet Union URS Gold 43:58.47 21:20.27 2 32:15.08 1
2 Yevgeny Belyayev 21 Soviet Union URS Silver 44:01.10 21:23.67 3 32:29.53 3
3 Arto Koivisto 28 Finland FIN Bronze 44:19.25 21:17.19 1 32:19.68 2
4 Ivan Garanin 30 Soviet Union URS 44:41.98 21:37.52 4 32:45.84 4
5 Ivar Formo 24 Norway NOR 45:29.11 22:02.53 5 33:24.75 5
6 Bill Koch 20 United States USA 45:32.22 22:21.41 16 33:49.94 12
7 Georg Zipfel 22 West Germany FRG 45:38.10 22:08.46 8 33:26.93 6
8 Odd Martinsen 33 Norway NOR 45:41.33 22:10.85 10 33:38.82 9
9 Gert-Dietmar Klause 30 East Germany GDR 45:42.97 22:03.12 7 33:44.18 10
10 Juha Mieto 26 Finland FIN 45:46.27 22:11.65 11 33:46.26 11
11 Albert Giger 29 Switzerland SUI 45:47.07 22:02.54 6 33:31.42 7
12 Franz Renggli 23 Switzerland SUI 45:53.49 22:09.49 9 33:38.41 8
13 Benny Södergren 27 Sweden SWE 45:59.91 22:31.45 18 34:02.91 17
14 Pertti Teurajärvi 24 Finland FIN 46:04.84 22:22.19 17 33:55.40 14
15 Thomas Wassberg 19 Sweden SWE 46:13.35 22:17.64 13 33:50.32 13
16 Yury Skobov 26 Soviet Union URS 46:16.27 22:19.19 14 34:01.40 16
17 Edi Hauser 27 Switzerland SUI 46:29.14 22:21.30 15 33:58.81 15
18 Jean-Paul Pierrat 23 France FRA 46:35.64 22:35.70 20 34:14.64 18
19 Herbert Wachter 35 Austria AUT 46:46.39 22:53.78 33 34:36.88 25
20 Pål Tyldum 33 Norway NOR 46:50.57 22:31.80 19 34:19.14 19
21 Giulio Capitanio 23 Italy ITA 46:51.14 22:43.79 23 34:30.00 20
22 Wiesław Gębala 25 Poland POL 46:59.00 22:53.35 32 34:39.50 26
23 Tommy Limby 28 Sweden SWE 47:00.06 22:51.33 30 34:34.24 22
24 Ivan Lebanov 18 Bulgaria BUL 47:02.41 22:44.45 24 34:32.62 21
25 Jürgen Wolf 23 East Germany GDR 47:04.49 22:40.23 21 34:36.33 24
26 Lyubomir Toskov 30 Bulgaria BUL 47:04.87 23:02.84 36 34:52.18 34
27 Fredel Kälin 27 Switzerland SUI 47:05.39 22:47.58 27 34:42.55 29
28 Gerd Heßler 27 East Germany GDR 47:08.77 22:47.93 28 34:43.99 30
29 Renzo Chiocchetti 30 Italy ITA 47:11.22 22:40.95 22 34:42.16 28
30 Sven-Åke Lundbäck 28 Sweden SWE 47:12.85 22:45.20 25 34:34.55 23
31 Georg Kandlinger 26 West Germany FRG 47:20.13 22:52.54 31 34:40.22 27
32 Risto Kiiskinen 19 Finland FIN 47:21.06 23:48.50 48 34:44.91 31
33 Bert Bullock 20 Canada CAN 47:23.38 22:15.02 12 35:03.64 36
34 František Šimon 22 Czechoslovakia TCH 47:24.90 22:49.33 29 34:51.18 33
35 Ján Fajstavr 31 Czechoslovakia TCH 47:25.77 22:54.69 35 34:56.47 35
36 Roberto Primus 26 Italy ITA 47:29.02 22:46.94 26 34:48.45 32
37 Tim Caldwell 21 United States USA 47:33.59 23:07.06 38 35:21.40 41
38 Franz Betz 24 West Germany FRG 47:39.15 23:18.09 41 35:08.91 37
39 Milan Jarý 23 Czechoslovakia TCH 47:50.01 23:06.42 37 35:15.27 39
40 Jan Staszel 25 Poland POL 48:04.31 22:54.65 34 35:09.70 38
41 Petar Pankov 30 Bulgaria BUL 48:08.46 23:14.62 39 35:15.72 40
42 Rudolf Horn 21 Austria AUT 48:10.52 23:26.10 43 35:37.51 43
43 Werner Vogel 27 Austria AUT 48:17.47 23:41.70 47 35:43.92 45
44 Władysław Podgórski 19 Poland POL 48:18.62 23:21.80 42 35:34.29 42
45 Hans Speicher 23 West Germany FRG 48:28.90 23:15.26 40 35:43.04 44
46 Stanislav Henych 26 Czechoslovakia TCH 48:31.23 23:40.11 46 35:52.33 46
47 Halldór Matthíasson 26 Iceland ISL 48:42.22 23:53.75 49 35:55.12 48
48 Josef Vogel 23 Austria AUT 48:42.32 23:33.12 44 35:52.52 47
49 Gerhard Grimmer 32 East Germany GDR 48:45.04 23:40.05 45 35:58.65 49
50 Kiyoshi Hayasaka 21 Japan JPN 48:46.93 24:01.16 55 36:22.80 54
51 Daniel Drezet 24 France FRA 48:56.97 23:55.82 53 36:19.89 53
52 Ronny Yeager 23 United States USA 48:58.16 23:54.26 50 36:12.07 50
53 Fabrizio Pedranzini 21 Italy ITA 48:58.30 23:54.80 51 36:17.65 52
54 Doug Peterson 22 United States USA 49:00.98 24:00.18 54 36:12.53 51
55 Magne Myrmo 32 Norway NOR 49:26.89 23:55.66 52 36:43.30 55
56 Hans Skinstad 29 Canada CAN 49:30.36 24:24.95 59 36:51.48 57
57 Maksi Jelenc 24 Yugoslavia YUG 49:35.35 24:25.04 60 36:44.49 56
58 Ryoji Fujiki 24 Japan JPN 49:40.48 24:16.64 56 36:53.26 58
59 Edward Day 26 Canada CAN 49:59.43 24:59.94 63 37:15.00 61
60 Khristo Barzanov 19 Bulgaria BUL 50:08.09 24:43.09 61 37:10.63 59
61 Roland Jeannerod 30 France FRA 50:18.27 24:24.62 58 37:11.19 60
62 Gérard Verguet 26 France FRA 50:29.28 24:21.07 57 37:16.22 62
63 Paul Gibbins 23 Great Britain GBR 51:48.02 25:34.02 68 38:22.37 64
64 Bahri Yılmaz 20 Turkey TUR 51:57.08 25:19.99 65 38:15.34 63
65 Douglas Elliott 25 Great Britain GBR 52:14.27 25:30.89 67 38:35.90 66
66 Sacit Özbey 22 Turkey TUR 52:15.41 25:29.33 66 38:33.52 65
67 Ernie Lennie 22 Canada CAN 52:27.04 26:00.22 70 39:13.13 70
68 Keith Oliver 28 Great Britain GBR 52:31.00 24:57.43 62 38:36.87 67
69 Trausti Sveinsson 33 Iceland ISL 52:50.29 25:18.44 64 38:56.34 69
70 Şeref Çınar 27 Turkey TUR 52:50.67 25:36.27 69 38:50.97 68
71 Marcos Luis Jerman 19 Argentina ARG 53:43.34 26:05.49 71 39:41.34 71
72 Yavuz Özbey 20 Turkey TUR 55:47.55 26:55.49 72 41:01.44 72
73 Ueng Ming-Yih 23 Chinese Taipei TPE 57:02.75 28:07.86 73 42:14.90 73
74 Martín Tomás Jerman 16 Argentina ARG 1-00:07.39 30:26.88 74 45:15.46 74
75 Efstathios Vogdanos 27 Greece GRE 1-05:51.28 32:32.67 76 48:48.23 75
76 Liang Reng-Guey 25 Chinese Taipei TPE 1-06:02.79 32:25.63 75 49:04.45 76
77 Shen Li-Chien 24 Chinese Taipei TPE 1-06:45.77 33:36.34 78 50:02.10 78
78 Athanasios Koutsogiannis 19 Greece GRE 1-07:49.43 33:18.57 77 49:55.05 77
AC Matías José Jerman 20 Argentina ARG DNF
AC Jan Dragon 19 Poland POL DNF