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Speed Skating at the 1976 Innsbruck Winter Games:

Women's 1,500 metres

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Host City: Innsbruck, Austria
Venue(s): Speed Skating Rink at the Olympic Ice Stadium, Innsbruck
Date Started: February 5, 1976
Date Finished: February 5, 1976

Gold: URS Galina Stepanskaya
Silver: USA Sheila Young
Bronze: URS Tatyana Averina-Barabash

Summary

Unlike the women's 500 and 1,000 in 1976, there was no clear favorite in this race. East Germany's Karin Kessow had won the 1975 World Championships and won the distance at that tournament. Tatyana Averina had set the last two world records in the 1,500, the current one her 2:09.90, set at Medeo in 1975, which shattered the previous record by 4.1 seconds. And although Sheila Young was a better sprinter, she was solid at this distance as well, and needed to be watched. The opening pair saw Norway's Lisbeth Korsmo break the Olympic record with a time of 2:18.99. That held up until Averina finished the fourth pairing in 2:17.96. The seventh pair had Averina's teammate Galina Stepanskaya, who had won the distance at the 1973 World Championships, but whose performances since had been somewhat ordinary. She set a fast pace, over a full second ahead of Averina at the 1,100 split, and held on, crossing in 2:16.58 to move well ahead. Young went off two pairs later, with Kessow, and though she was far behind at 1,100 metres, she had the fastest final lap to finish in 2:17.06 and win the silver medal, behind Stepanskaya, with Averina taking bronze, Korsmo in fourth, and Kessow placing fifth. The surprising Stepanskaya would place second at the World Championships in 1977 and 1978, winning the 1,500 and 3,000 at the 1977 Worlds.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T 3c 7c 1.1k
1 Galina Stepanskaya 27 Soviet Union URS Gold 2:16.58 28.85 1:02.83 1:38.63 OR
2 Sheila Young 25 United States USA Silver 2:17.06 28.28 1:04.06 1:39.84
3 Tatyana Averina-Barabash 25 Soviet Union URS Bronze 2:17.96 28.09 1:02.69 1:39.72 OR
4 Lisbeth Korsmo-Berg 28 Norway NOR 2:18.99 28.13 1:03.18 1:40.49 OR
5 Karin Kessow 22 East Germany GDR 2:19.05 29.05 1:03.74 1:40.47
6 Leah Poulos-Mueller 24 United States USA 2:19.11 28.05 1:02.19 1:39.30
7 Ines Bautzmann 17 East Germany GDR 2:19.63 27.59 1:02.54 1:40.61
8 Erwina Ryś-Ferens 21 Poland POL 2:19.69 28.75 1:03.63 1:41.13
9 Sylvia Burka 21 Canada CAN 2:19.74 27.69 1:01.48 1:38.96
10 Andrea Ehrig-Schöne-Mitscherlich 15 East Germany GDR 2:20.05 28.74 1:03.80 1:41.08
11 Sigrid Sundby-Dybedahl 33 Norway NOR 2:21.85 29.01 1:04.89 1:42.83
12 Annie Borckink 24 Netherlands NED 2:22.06 29.31 1:04.34 1:42.07
13 Sijtje van der Lende 26 Netherlands NED 2:22.10 29.41 1:05.56 1:43.30
14 Sylvia Filipsson 22 Sweden SWE 2:22.42 29.08 1:04.92 1:42.61
15 Nina Statkevich 31 Soviet Union URS 2:22.59 28.88 1:04.15 1:42.17
16 Christa Jaarsma 23 Netherlands NED 2:23.98 29.70 1:05.83 1:43.79
17 Cindy Seikkula 17 United States USA 2:24.06 29.41 1:04.83 1:43.81
18 Ewa Malewicka 20 Poland POL 2:24.26 29.18 1:04.73 1:43.73
19 Janina Korowicka 21 Poland POL 2:24.30 29.31 1:05.27 1:43.77
20 Tuula Vilkas 25 Finland FIN 2:24.55 29.20 1:05.74 1:44.41
21 Liz Appleby 17 Canada CAN 2:24.89 29.19 1:06.16 1:45.07
22 Chieko Ito 21 Japan JPN 2:25.27 29.84 1:05.57 1:44.34
23 Kathy Vogt 16 Canada CAN 2:25.49 29.46 1:05.88 1:44.44
24 Yuko Yaegashi-Ota 18 Japan JPN 2:25.74 29.61 1:06.24 1:45.21
25 Lee Nam-Sun 14 South Korea KOR 2:26.24 29.79 1:05.94 1:44.36
26 Linda Rombouts 22 Belgium BEL 2:32.96 30.54 1:08.81 1:49.65