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Speed Skating at the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Games:

Men's 500 metres

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Host City: Sarajevo, Yugoslavia
Venue(s): Ice Rink for Speed Skating Zetra, Sarajevo
Date Started: February 10, 1984
Date Finished: February 10, 1984

Gold: URS Sergey Fokichev
Silver: JPN Yoshihiro Kitazawa
Bronze: CAN Gaétan Boucher

Summary

The event favorite was considered to be Soviet skater Sergey Fokichev, who in a recent international meet at Davos, had become the first skater under 37 seconds at any rink besides Medeo . The world record holder was Pavel Pegov, who set the mark of 36.57 at Medeo in 1983, but he was competing only in the 1,000 in Sarajevo. The 1983 World Sprints had been won by Japan’s Akira Kuroiwa, but he was also only in the 1,000. In the opening pair American Nick Thometz posted 38.56, but he was bested by his pairmate, Fokichev, who finished in 38.19. In that pair, Japan’s Yoshihiro Kitazawa, a complete unknown, finished in 38.30 to move into second place ahead of Thometz. The sixth pair had American Dan Jansen and the 1981 World Sprints champion, Frode Rønning of Norway, and they were considered threats, although Jansen was still young. Jansen narrowly finished ahead of his teammate, Thometz, posting 38.55, but Rønning was disappointing with 38.58. The next pair had Canada’s Gaétan Boucher, who had been second at the 1982 World Sprints. When he finished in 38.39 the medals were decided. There were 14 pairs yet to race, but as the sun warmed the ice, only the early starters could contend. Fokichev was the gold medalist, but had been a complete unknown outside the Soviet Union until recently, having never competed internationally prior to the 1983-84 season. He would turn out to be a fairly good sprinter, winning both 500s at the 1984 and 1987 World Sprints, and posting two World Cup victories over 500 metres.

One unusual competitor in the event was Errol Fraser of the British Virgin Islands. Born in New York, Fraser had dual citizenship and had competed in a few international races training for the Winter Olympics. He was the first Olympian from the British Virgin Islands or any Caribbean nation, and was the first black Olympic speed skater.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T 1c
1 Sergey Fokichev 21 Soviet Union URS Gold 38.19 9.96
2 Yoshihiro Kitazawa 21 Japan JPN Silver 38.30 10.12
3 Gaétan Boucher 25 Canada CAN Bronze 38.39 10.20
4 Dan Jansen 18 United States USA 38.55 10.26
5 Nick Thometz 20 United States USA 38.56 10.36
6 Vladimir Kozlov 24 Soviet Union URS 38.57 10.10
7 Frode Rønning 24 Norway NOR 38.58 10.35
8 Uwe-Jens Mey 20 East Germany GDR 38.65 10.14
9 Aleksandr Danilin 22 Soviet Union URS 38.66 10.00
10 Akira Kuroiwa 22 Japan JPN 38.70 10.27
11 André Hoffmann 22 East Germany GDR 38.87 10.30
12 Yasushi Suzuki 21 Japan JPN 38.92 10.23
13 Hein Vergeer 22 Netherlands NED 38.94 10.42
14 Jan Ykema 20 Netherlands NED 39.03 10.30
15 Jacques Thibault 25 Canada CAN 39.12 10.29
16 Geert Kuiper 23 Netherlands NED 39.13 10.30
17 Jouko Vesterlund 24 Finland FIN 39.15 10.26
18 Kai Arne Engelstad 29 Norway NOR 39.28 10.42
19 Hans-Peter Oberhuber 21 West Germany FRG 39.39 10.35
20T Andreas Dietel 24 East Germany GDR 39.45 10.52
20T Erik Henriksen 25 United States USA 39.45 10.70
22 Mike Richmond 23 Australia AUS 39.47 10.39
23 Rolf Falk-Larssen 23 Norway NOR 39.57 10.53
24 Hans van Helden 35 France FRA 39.71 10.68
25 Dezideriu Jenei 23 Romania ROU 39.72 10.37
26 Uwe Streb 20 West Germany FRG 39.78 10.47
27 Urpo Pikkupeura 26 Finland FIN 39.88 10.51
28 Lee Yeong-Ha 27 South Korea KOR 39.90 10.48
29T Chen Jianqiang 26 China CHN 40.30 10.31
29T Daniel Turcotte 21 Canada CAN 40.30 10.61
31 Na Yun-Su 21 South Korea KOR 40.35 10.62
32 Michael Hadschieff 20 Austria AUT 40.52 10.74
33 Giorgio Paganin 21 Italy ITA 40.54 10.97
34 Jan-Åke Carlberg 26 Sweden SWE 40.64 10.41
35 Wang Nianchun 27 China CHN 40.75 10.60
36 Tomas Gustafson 24 Sweden SWE 41.18 10.50
37 Kim Song-Hui 18 North Korea PRK 41.23 10.88
38 Gai Zhiwu 23 China CHN 41.67 10.83
39 Nenad Žvanut 21 Yugoslavia YUG 42.55 10.94
40 Erroll Fraser 33 British Virgin Islands IVB 43.47 11.24
41 Behudin Merdović 22 Yugoslavia YUG 46.34 12.20
42 Hans Magnusson 23 Sweden SWE 1:03.08 10.56 fall