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Cross Country Skiing at the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Games:

Men's 50 kilometres

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Host City: Sarajevo, Yugoslavia
Venue(s): Veliko Polje, Igman
Date Started: February 19, 1984
Date Finished: February 19, 1984

Gold: SWE Thomas Wassberg
Silver: SWE Gunde Svan
Bronze: FIN Aki Karvonen

Summary

Defending Olympic Champion Nikolay Zimyatov and the reigning World Champion Thomas Wassberg were considered among the favorites, but Gunde Svan had been the most successful cross-country skier so far at the 1984 Olympics, with two gold and one bronze medal already in his pocket. Wassberg had the advantage of starting behind most of his rivals, with the exception of Zimyatov, starting 1½ minutes behind Wassberg.

The race turned out to be one of the most thrilling duels in the history of 50 km cross-country skiing, with the two Swedes playing the main roles. It was a duel between experience represented by Wassberg and youth represented by Svan. After 7 km Wassberg had a five second lead, while at 19.7 km he had increased his lead to 15 seconds. The Swiss Andi Grünenfelder, starting half a minute ahead of Wassberg, had followed in the Swede’s heels from around 10 km, was in third position, 33 seconds behind, but now struggling to keep Wassberg’s pace. At 32 km Svan struck back, and had a seven second lead over his teammate. Wassberg had on his heels a row of strong skiers that had started ahead of him: the two Finns Aki Karvonen and Harri Kirvesniemi and the Norwegian Jan Lindvall. The trio was able to hang on to Wassberg for almost the rest of the race, but Grünenfelder, still in third place, fell behind. At the last official intermediate point, 44.7 km, Svan was still in the lead, but now with only a one second margin to Wassberg. Karvonen, Kirvesniemi, Grünenfelder and Lindvall followed, but they were far behind the Swedish duo and had to settle for the fight for bronze. Svan was still skiing well, but Wassberg then increased his speed and crossed the line 4.9 seconds ahead of his young rival, the narrowest victory margin in the Olympic 50 km race until mass start was introduced for the distance at the 2006 Games in Torino. Finland’s Karvonen secured the bronze medal, followed by Kirvesniemi. Due to his strong finish, Lindvall passed Grünenfelder on the final stage of the race and advanced to fifth.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T I1T I1R I2T I2R I3T I3R I4T I4R
1 Thomas Wassberg 27 Sweden SWE Gold 2-15:55.8 22:19.5 1 54:35.8 1 1-30:02.6 2 2-03:10.2 2
2 Gunde Svan 22 Sweden SWE Silver 2-16:00.7 22:25.0 2 54:50.7 2 1-29:55.2 1 2-03:09.2 1
3 Aki Karvonen 26 Finland FIN Bronze 2-17:04.7 22:53.6 7 55:37.0 4 1-31:03.2 4 2-04:11.2 3
4 Harri Kirvesniemi 25 Finland FIN 2-18:34.1 22:51.5 6 56:17.1 7 1-32:37.1 5 2-05:43.3 4
5 Jan Lindvall 33 Norway NOR 2-19:27.1 23:16.4 16 56:49.1 15 1-33:34.6 10 2-06:44.9 6
6 Andi Grünenfelder 23 Switzerland SUI 2-19:46.2 22:50.8 5 55:09.3 3 1-31:02.0 3 2-06:05.3 5
7 Aleksandr Zavyalov 28 Soviet Union URS 2-20:27.6 22:44.2 3 55:59.3 5 1-32:53.7 6 2-07:08.4 7
8 Vladimir Sakhnov 22 Soviet Union URS 2-20:53.7 22:57.5 9 56:26.9 9 1-33:14.7 7 2-07:28.7 8
9 Konrad Hallenbarter 30 Switzerland SUI 2-21:11.6 23:30.7 22 57:20.8 19 1-34:05.4 15 2-07:35.2 9
10 Juha Mieto 34 Finland FIN 2-21:53.1 23:01.8 11 56:48.3 14 1-33:57.5 13 2-08:37.8 10
11 Lars Erik Eriksen 29 Norway NOR 2-22:09.5 22:57.4 8 56:19.4 8 1-33:38.5 12 2-08:48.2 11
12 Tor Håkon Holte 25 Norway NOR 2-22:12.7 22:59.3 10 56:54.4 16 1-34:14.4 16 2-09:02.1 13
13 Nikolay Zimyatov 28 Soviet Union URS 2-22:15.0 22:44.3 4 56:07.9 6 1-33:33.2 9
14 Jan Ottosson 23 Sweden SWE 2-22:24.0 23:21.8 17 57:26.7 22 1-34:45.4 18 2-09:03.7 14
15 Kari Ristanen 25 Finland FIN 2-23:10.6 23:07.5 13 56:40.8 12 1-33:35.3 11 2-08:51.0 12
16 Oleksandr Batiuk 24 Soviet Union URS 2-23:17.0 23:25.8 20 57:22.2 21 1-35:03.6 20 2-10:00.5 16
17 Bill Koch 28 United States USA 2-24:02.3 23:02.5 12 56:30.0 10 1-33:27.4 8 2-09:52.1 15
18 Audun Endestad 31 United States USA 2-24:14.4 23:51.4 32 58:10.9 31 1-36:05.3 26 2-10:53.4 18
19 Giachem Guidon 22 Switzerland SUI 2-24:25.9 23:35.7 27 57:41.2 24 1-35:27.1 21 2-10:41.8 17
20 Pierre Harvey 26 Canada CAN 2-25:04.1 23:33.1 25 57:52.8 26 1-34:36.4 17 2-11:19.1 22
21 Gianfranco Polvara 26 Italy ITA 2-25:07.5 23:36.4 28 58:10.6 30 1-36:06.3 27 2-11:04.2 19
22 Maurilio De Zolt 33 Italy ITA 2-25:14.9 23:25.0 19 56:40.7 11 1-36:01.8 25
23 Miloš Bečvář 27 Czechoslovakia TCH 2-25:23.7 23:38.1 29 57:39.3 23 1-35:44.0 23 2-11:13.1 21
24 Alois Stadlober 21 Austria AUT 2-25:26.3 23:34.4 26 57:57.1 27 1-36:08.3 29 2-11:42.9 24
25 Markus Fähndrich 23 Switzerland SUI 2-25:26.4 23:31.6 23 57:45.7 25 1-35:28.6 22 2-11:24.4 23
26 Dan Simoneau 25 United States USA 2-25:43.1 23:30.4 21 57:20.9 20 1-34:56.1 19 2-11:11.5 20
27 Józef Łuszczek 28 Poland POL 2-25:46.9 23:10.8 15 57:08.9 17 1-35:51.4 24 2-11:52.1 25
28 Dominique Locatelli 23 France FRA 2-26:21.3 23:54.0 34 58:03.4 28 1-36:30.5 30 2-12:07.8 26
29 Franz Gattermann 28 Austria AUT 2-26:40.8 23:48.5 31 58:08.5 29 1-36:51.0 31 2-12:54.6 27
30 Giorgio Vanzetta 24 Italy ITA 2-27:08.3 23:08.3 14 56:41.4 13 1-34:03.8 14
31 Jim Galanes 27 United States USA 2-28:00.7 23:22.1 18 57:14.1 18 1-36:08.2 28 2-13:03.0 28
32 Dušan Đurišič 22 Yugoslavia YUG 2-28:23.4 23:53.1 33 58:16.9 33 1-37:26.0 33 2-14:13.0 30
33 Peter Juric 25 Austria AUT 2-28:38.8 23:32.3 24 58:13.8 32 1-37:10.3 32 2-14:07.1 29
34 Giulio Capitanio 31 Italy ITA 2-28:51.7 23:44.8 30 58:54.0 35 1-37:28.7 34 2-14:27.1 31
35 Josef Schneider 26 West Germany FRG 2-29:29.5 24:26.9 40 59:03.3 36 1-38:36.2 35 2-15:26.9 32
36 Janež Kršinar 21 Yugoslavia YUG 2-30:16.2 24:11.7 38 58:44.3 34 1-38:40.0 36 2-16:09.7 34
37 Franz Schöbel 27 West Germany FRG 2-30:30.2 24:01.9 35 59:26.1 37 1-38:56.1 37 2-16:03.8 33
38 Peter Zipfel 27 West Germany FRG 2-30:57.7 24:03.7 36 59:38.8 38 1-39:05.4 38 2-16:26.4 35
39 Anders Larsson 22 Sweden SWE 2-31:43.6 24:04.1 37 1-00:25.1 40 1-40:49.1 40 2-17:38.9 36
40 Milush Ivanchev 29 Bulgaria BUL 2-32:15.9 24:15.7 39 1-00:11.0 39 1-40:28.0 39 2-17:59.7 37
41 José Giro 28 Spain ESP 2-33:31.5 24:52.4 43 1-01:03.2 41 1-40:58.2 41 2-19:08.1 38
42 Jože Klemenčič 21 Yugoslavia YUG 2-35:22.4 25:27.7 46 1-01:50.5 43 1-42:32.3 44 2-20:48.0 40
43 Uwe Wünsch 20 East Germany GDR 2-35:48.9 24:39.5 41 1-01:56.7 44 1-42:26.8 43 2-20:05.4 39
44 Mark Moore 22 Great Britain GBR 2-36:32.8 24:57.6 44 1-01:22.3 42 1-42:03.8 42 2-21:18.1 41
45 John Spotswood 23 Great Britain GBR 2-38:03.2 26:03.1 48 1-03:24.8 48 1-44:12.9 47 2-23:07.0 43
46 Miguel Prat 28 Spain ESP 2-38:07.0 25:40.5 47 1-03:06.7 47 1-44:26.5 48 2-23:02.4 42
47 Satoshi Sato 22 Japan JPN 2-39:43.1 25:18.0 45 1-02:06.7 45 1-43:04.8 45 2-23:57.1 44
48 David Hislop 25 Australia AUS 2-39:53.1 24:47.8 42 1-02:21.7 46 1-43:59.8 46 2-24:22.7 45
49 Chris Allen 24 Australia AUS 2-44:19.1 26:27.7 49 1-05:17.4 49 1-48:17.6 49 2-28:49.9 46
50 Ricardo Holler 21 Argentina ARG 3-05:41.2 29:27.0 50 1-12:21.8 50 2-00:49.3 50 2-47:28.4 47
AC Uwe Bellmann 21 East Germany GDR DNF
AC Ove Aunli 27 Norway NOR DNF
AC Kazunari Sasaki 21 Japan JPN DNF
AC Atanas Simidchiev 20 Bulgaria BUL DNF