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Speed Skating at the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Games:

Women's 500 metres

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: Lake Placid, United States
Venue(s): James C. Sheffield Speed Skating Oval, Lake Placid
Date Started: February 15, 1980
Date Finished: February 15, 1980

Gold: GDR Karin Enke-Kania
Silver: USA Leah Poulos-Mueller
Bronze: URS Nataliya Petrusyova

Summary

One week prior to the Winter Olympics, the World Sprint Championships were held in West Allis, Wisconsin. The tournament was won by an unknown East German skater, Karin Enke, who won three of the four races. Enke had started out as a figure skater, placing ninth at the 1977 European Figure Skating Championship, but then turned to speed skating. In the first pair, Sweden's Ann-Sofie Järnström broke the Olympic record with 42.47, which would eventually place her fourth. Enke was in the second pair and she crossed the line in 41.78, another Olympic record. The third pair matched Beth Heiden, who was the 1979 World Champion, winning all four distances in the process, and Soviet skater Nataliya Petrusyova, who had recently won the 1980 Worlds, winning three of the four races, including the 500. Heiden was the sister of men's superstar Eric Heiden, who would eventually win five gold medals in Lake Placid, and the American press was building up Beth as a possibility to also win all the women's events. But she was not the skater Eric was, and would struggle in the 500, placing only seventh. Petruseva finished in 42.42 to move into second, behind Enke. The next pair had American Leah Poulos-Mueller the 1979 World Sprint Champion, who had been second to Enke at the 1980 World Sprints, winning one of the 500s in West Allis. Poulos-Mueller started very slowly, trailing almost all the top sprinters, but finished fast to record 42.26, which brought her the silver medal behind Enke's gold, with Petrusyova winning bronze.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T 1c
1 Karin Enke-Kania 18 East Germany GDR Gold 41.78 11.20 OR
2 Leah Poulos-Mueller 28 United States USA Silver 42.26 11.51
3 Nataliya Petrusyova 24 Soviet Union URS Bronze 42.42 11.19
4 Ann-Sofie Järnström 30 Sweden SWE 42.47 11.33 OR
5 Makiko Nagaya 24 Japan JPN 42.70 11.16
6 Cornelia Jacob 19 East Germany GDR 42.98 11.15
7 Beth Heiden 20 United States USA 43.18 11.23
8 Tetiana Tarasova 22 Soviet Union URS 43.26 11.31
9 Sylvia Burka 25 Canada CAN 43.43 11.48
10 Irina Kuleshova-Kovrova 18 Soviet Union URS 43.50 11.55
11 Erwina Ryś-Ferens 25 Poland POL 43.52 11.38
12 Christa Rothenburger-Luding 20 East Germany GDR 43.60 11.16
13 Silvia Brunner 22 Switzerland SUI 43.72 11.49
14 Lee Nam-Sun 18 South Korea KOR 43.85 11.68
15 Haitske Valentijn-Pijlman 25 Netherlands NED 44.02 11.49
16 Sylvia Filipsson 26 Sweden SWE 44.05 11.87
17 Sigrid Smuda 20 West Germany FRG 44.11 11.49
18 Kathy Vogt 20 Canada CAN 44.15 11.84
19 Sylvie Daigle 17 Canada CAN 44.16 11.46
20 Anneli Repola 25 Finland FIN 44.33 11.94
21 Cao Guifeng 19 China CHN 44.43 11.61
22 Annie Borckink 28 Netherlands NED 44.47 12.07
23 Sarah Docter 15 United States USA 44.48 11.77
24 Annette Carlén-Karlsson 23 Sweden SWE 44.52 11.73
25 Monika Gawenus-Holzner-Pflug 25 West Germany FRG 44.59 11.83
26 Sijtje van der Lende 30 Netherlands NED 44.74 11.98
27 Shen Guoqin 18 China CHN 45.03 11.67
28 Brigitte Flierl 23 West Germany FRG 45.28 12.00
29 Wang Limei 18 China CHN 45.57 11.88
30 Kim Ferran 22 Great Britain GBR 47.25 12.43
AC Marzia Peretti 14 Italy ITA 11.74 DNF/fall