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Speed Skating at the 1976 Innsbruck Winter Games:

Men's 500 metres

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Host City: Innsbruck, Austria
Venue(s): Speed Skating Rink at the Olympic Ice Stadium, Innsbruck
Date Started: February 10, 1976
Date Finished: February 10, 1976

Gold: URS Yevgeny Kulikov
Silver: URS Valery Muratov
Bronze: USA Dan Immerfall

Summary

The top sprinter in recent years had been Soviet Yevgeny Kulikov, who had set four world records in the 500 at Medeo in 1975, leaving it at 37.00. He was challenged by his teammate Valery Muratov, who interrupted his record run, setting one world record himself at Medeo in 1975. Strangely neither had won the 1975 World Sprints, that going to their teammate Aleksandr Safranov, with Kulikov second and Muratov third, but Safranov was better in the 1,000 and would not compete in the 500 in Innsbruck. The first fast time in the event was set by American Peter Mueller in the second pair, posting 39.57. Kulikov was off in the next pair and his fast start, 100 in 9.86, which was the best time of the race, brought him home in 39.17 to take the lead. Nobody approached that time in the next six pairs, with Muratov going off in the 10th with the United States’ Dan Immerfall. Immerfall was a challenger, having won the 500 at the 1976 World Juniors in January, and winning one of the 500s at the 1973 World Sprints. Muratov started in 9.96, while Immerfall had a slow start with 10.13. And that set the stage for their finish as Muratov came home in 39.25, followed by Immerfall in 39.54. Though they did not catch Kulikov, who won the gold medal, this brought them the silver and bronze medals. This was the highlight of Kulikov’s competitive career, and his performances fell off after 1976, although in 1981 he would set another world record of 36.91 at Medeo, the first skater to better 37 seconds. In March 1976, Immerfall would place second at the 1976 World Sprints, winning both 500s.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T 1c
1 Yevgeny Kulikov 25 Soviet Union URS Gold 39.17 9.86 OR
2 Valery Muratov 29 Soviet Union URS Silver 39.25 9.96
3 Dan Immerfall 20 United States USA Bronze 39.54 10.13
4 Mats Wallberg 26 Sweden SWE 39.56 10.05
5 Peter Mueller 21 United States USA 39.57 10.21
6T Jan Bazen 28 Netherlands NED 39.78 10.20
6T Arnulf Sunde 24 Norway NOR 39.78 10.22
8 Andrey Malikov 21 Soviet Union URS 39.85 9.96
9 Oloph Granath 24 Sweden SWE 39.93 9.95
10 Jim Chapin 20 United States USA 40.09 9.98
11T Tom Overend 22 Canada CAN 40.22 10.18
11T Masaki Suzuki 31 Japan JPN 40.22 10.12
13 Johan Granath 25 Sweden SWE 40.25 10.12
14 Gaétan Boucher 17 Canada CAN 40.53 10.30
15 Pertti Niittylä 20 Finland FIN 40.65 10.38
16T Norio Hirate 27 Japan JPN 40.85 10.17
16T Archie Marshall 23 Great Britain GBR 40.85 10.48
18 Mikio Oyama 20 Japan JPN 40.90 10.25
19T Hans van Helden 27 Netherlands NED 40.91 10.56
19T Emmanuel Michon 20 France FRA 40.91 10.27
21 Kay Arne Stenshjemmet 22 Norway NOR 40.94 10.66
22 Lee Yeong-Ha 19 South Korea KOR 41.08 10.55
23 Bruno Toniolli 32 Italy ITA 41.44 10.57
24 Harald Oehme 22 East Germany GDR 41.54 10.48
25 Colin Coates 29 Australia AUS 41.77 10.84
26 Berend Schabus 18 Austria AUT 42.33 10.77
27 Heinz Steinberger 17 Austria AUT 43.28 10.81
28 Jan Egil Storholt 26 Norway NOR 1:18.00 10.40 fall
AC Horst Freese 32 West Germany FRG 10.35 DNF/fall