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Speed Skating at the 1988 Calgary Winter Games:

Women's 500 metres

Speed Skating at the 1988 Winter Games: Previous Winter Games ▪ Next Winter Games

Events:
Phases:

Host City: Calgary, Canada
Venue(s): Olympic Oval, Calgary
Date Started: February 22, 1988
Date Finished: February 22, 1988

Gold: USA Bonnie Blair
Silver: GDR Christa Rothenburger-Luding
Bronze: GDR Karin Enke-Kania

Summary

Since 1980, women’s sprinting had been dominated by East Germany. Karin Kania won the World Sprint Championships in 1980-81, 1983-84, and 1986-87, while her compatriot Christa Rothenburger had taken the title in 1985 and 1988 - a week before the Olympics. In recent years, the duo had gotten competition from American Bonnie Blair, with the three occupying the podium at the past three World Sprint Championships, and dividing the medals in both 500 ms at the 1988 edition in West Allis. The trio had also divided the World Cup races of the season thus far: Kania had won one, Rothenburger and Blair two. To clarify that these three were the absolute favorites, they had all three held the world record in recent years. In 1983, Rothenburger had been the first to go below 40 seconds. She lost her record to Kania in 1986, who in turn lost it to Blair, in 1987. At the Calgary World Cup in December 1987, Rothenburger took the record back, setting the mark at 39.39.

Of the three title contenders, Rothenburger was the first to compete. In the second pair, she lowered the Olympic Record (set by Andrea Ehrig in the previous race at 40.71) by more than 1.5 seconds: 39.12 - a world record. Blair then took off in heat four. Her 100 m split, 10.55, was 0.02 faster than Rothenburger's. That would prove to be enough to beat the East German, as Blair then copied the full lap time of Rothenburger, to finish in 39.10, again bettering the world record. As usual, Kania had a slower start than the two leaders, but was expected to have a better lap. She did, but it was not enough to overtake the two leaders. As expected, none of the others came within half a second of the winning time.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T 1c
1 Bonnie Blair 23 United States USA Gold 39.10 10.55 WR
2 Christa Rothenburger-Luding 28 East Germany GDR Silver 39.12 10.57 WR
3 Karin Enke-Kania 26 East Germany GDR Bronze 39.24 10.75
4 Angela Stahnke-Hauck 22 East Germany GDR 39.68 10.75
5 Seiko Hashimoto 23 Japan JPN 39.74 10.69
6 Shelley Rhead-Skarvan 22 Canada CAN 40.36 10.87
7 Monika Gawenus-Holzner-Pflug 33 West Germany FRG 40.53 11.14
8 Shoko Fusano 22 Japan JPN 40.61 10.82
9 Nataliya Shive-Glebova 24 Soviet Union URS 40.66 10.93
10 Andrea Ehrig-Schöne-Mitscherlich 27 East Germany GDR 40.71 11.20 OR
11 Natalie Grenier 23 Canada CAN 40.73 11.09
12 Katie Class 24 United States USA 40.91 11.11
13 Yu Seon-Hui 21 South Korea KOR 40.92 10.99
14 Edel Therese Høiseth 22 Norway NOR 40.95 11.19
15 Ingrid Haringa 23 Netherlands NED 41.12 11.03
16 Yelena Ilyina 20 Soviet Union URS 41.15 11.41
17 Christine Aaftink 21 Netherlands NED 41.22 11.01
18 Zofia Tokarczyk 24 Poland POL 41.37 10.91
19T Emese Nemeth-Hunyady 21 Austria AUT 41.38 11.38
19T Erwina Ryś-Ferens 33 Poland POL 41.38 11.05
21 Noriko Toda 22 Japan JPN 41.44 11.01
22 Song Hwa-Son 19 North Korea PRK 41.46 11.11
23T Leslie Bader 24 United States USA 41.57 11.30
23T Ariane Loignon 22 Canada CAN 41.57 11.19
25 Kristen Talbot 17 United States USA 41.71 11.33
26 Han Chun-Ok 22 North Korea PRK 42.25 11.54
27 Marie-France van Helden 28 France FRA 42.49 11.58
28 Jasmin Krohn 21 Sweden SWE 42.81 11.71
29 Stéphanie Dumont 20 France FRA 43.30 11.60
30 Bibija Kerla 28 Yugoslavia YUG 44.47 11.60