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Speed Skating at the 1988 Calgary Winter Games:

Women's 1,500 metres

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Host City: Calgary, Canada
Venue(s): Olympic Oval, Calgary
Date Started: February 27, 1988
Date Finished: February 27, 1988

Gold: NED Yvonne van Gennip
Silver: GDR Karin Enke-Kania
Bronze: GDR Andrea Ehrig-Schöne-Mitscherlich

Summary

A huge favorite for several gold medals, Karin Kania had more or less disappointed at the Games so far. She had placed third in the 500 m, fourth in the 3,000 m and second in the 1,000 m. Not a long distance skater, the 1,500 m seemed her last chance to win a gold medal in Calgary. Her resume for the 1,500 m was outstanding: as the defending Olympic Champion, she had won all four World Cup races of the season. With her miraculous 1:59.30 from 1986, she was also the only woman to have beaten 2 minutes in the distance. She could expect competition from her teammates, notably Andrea Ehrig and 500 m winner Bonnie Blair. After her surprising win in the 3,000 m, Yvonne van Gennip was also considered for a medal.

Ehrig was the first favorite to go, in the second pair. Her race was stable, with a 1-second drop in lap times at every split, and she finished in 2:01.00, just half-a-second away from her personal best, set in the same as the world record. Kania, up next, got off half a second faster than her closest rival, but lost ground in the next two laps, matching Ehrig's split at the bell. In her final lap, she recovered noticeably, and finished with 2:00.82, the second best time ever. Next up was Yvonne van Gennip. She held equal pace with Ehrig's times, before gaining half a second in the second full lap. She a large part of that advantage in the final 400 ms, but 2:00.68 was enough for first place. When Blair stayed well clear of the top three, it was certain that Van Gennip had delivered a second surprise, and that Kania would not win a fourth Olympic title. Both Ehrig and Kania ended their career after the 1988 season. The two of them had dominated women's skating in the 1980s. Their role would be taken over by their young team mate Gunda Kleemann, who placed seventh in this race.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T 3c 7c 1.1k
1 Yvonne van Gennip 23 Netherlands NED Gold 2:00.68 26.87 57.13 1:28.39 OR
2 Karin Enke-Kania 26 East Germany GDR Silver 2:00.82 26.28 56.95 1:28.81 OR
3 Andrea Ehrig-Schöne-Mitscherlich 27 East Germany GDR Bronze 2:01.49 26.80 57.16 1:28.80 OR
4 Bonnie Blair 23 United States USA 2:04.02 26.38 56.86 1:29.65
5 Yelena Lapuga 23 Soviet Union URS 2:04.24 27.27 57.66 1:29.74
6 Seiko Hashimoto 23 Japan JPN 2:04.38 26.07 56.80 1:29.73
7T Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann-Kleemann 21 East Germany GDR 2:04.68 26.76 57.63 1:30.24
7T Erwina Ryś-Ferens 33 Poland POL 2:04.68 26.93 57.74 1:30.18
9 Song Hwa-Son 19 North Korea PRK 2:05.25 27.40 58.93 1:31.53
10 Leslie Bader 24 United States USA 2:05.53 27.74 59.10 1:31.51
11 Natalie Grenier 23 Canada CAN 2:06.80 26.96 57.94 1:31.50
12 Marieke Stam 23 Netherlands NED 2:07.00 28.14 1:00.17 1:33.16
13 Katie Class 24 United States USA 2:07.30 26.93 58.02 1:31.03
14 Ariane Loignon 22 Canada CAN 2:07.63 27.44 59.01 1:32.42
15 Yelena Tumanova 22 Soviet Union URS 2:07.71 28.03 59.97 1:33.01
16 Anja Mischke 20 West Germany FRG 2:08.52 27.45 59.35 1:33.09
17 Zofia Tokarczyk 24 Poland POL 2:08.54 27.20 59.29 1:33.09
18 Jane Goldman 23 United States USA 2:08.72 27.90 1:00.32 1:34.10
19 Natsue Seki 21 Japan JPN 2:08.89 27.62 59.74 1:33.73
20 Edel Therese Høiseth 22 Norway NOR 2:09.34 27.48 59.64 1:33.86
21 Chantal Côté 23 Canada CAN 2:09.62 27.68 59.73 1:33.76
22 Han Chun-Ok 22 North Korea PRK 2:09.66 27.56 59.43 1:33.87
23 Caroline Maheux 18 Canada CAN 2:10.83 27.24 59.24 1:33.76
24 Kim Young-Ok 21 South Korea KOR 2:11.95 27.90 1:00.68 1:35.67
25 Minna Nystedt 20 Norway NOR 2:12.40 29.10 1:01.69 1:35.97
26 Choi Hye-Sook 17 South Korea KOR 2:12.96 28.26 1:01.05 1:36.22
27 Stéphanie Dumont 20 France FRA 2:13.01 28.52 1:01.91 1:36.70
28 Bibija Kerla 28 Yugoslavia YUG 2:21.69 29.04 1:04.24 1:42.48