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Speed Skating at the 1998 Nagano Winter Games:

Men's 500 metres

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: Nagano, Japan
Venue(s): M-Wave, Nagano
Date Started: February 9, 1998
Date Finished: February 10, 1998
Format: Two runs, total time determined placement.

Gold: JPN Hiroyasu Shimizu
Silver: CAN Jeremy Wotherspoon
Bronze: CAN Kevin Overland

Summary

Unlike in other distances, there had not yet been a new world record in the 500 m set on clap skates. The current record of 35.36 had been set by the local favorite for the gold, Hiroyasu Shimizu. He had won the World Championships in 1996, the 500 m World Cup in 1995 and 1997, and had medaled three times at the World Sprint Championships on account of his 500 m results. He had not done particular well in the Olympic season, though, winning only the first World Cup race in Roseville. Top challenger was Canadian Jeremy Wotherspoon, who had won four World Cup races and was runner-up at the World Sprint Championships earlier in the season.

The 1994 Olympic Record was broken in the very first pair, and eventually improved to 35.76 by Shimizu, who won the first run with that time. Trailing by just 0.02 seconds was Kevin Overland (Canada), followed by American Casey FitzRandolph, with 35.81. Also in contention for a medal were Sylvain Bouchard (Canada), Patrick Bouchard (Canada) and Erben Wennemars (Netherlands). With 36.04, Wotherspoon was considered too far off the lead to threaten Shimizu. The first of the leaders to race on the second day, he disproved that theory, setting what would turn out to be the second fastest time of the day (35.80), good enough to climb to the 2nd place in the rankings.

Fifth-placed Erben Wennemars was eliminated by his falling pairmate Grunde Njøs and had to be stretchered off. Overland, and the two Bouchards (not related) all posted times slower than 36 seconds, and fell in the rankings, as did FitzRandolph, who only clocked the 13th time of the day. This gave room for Shimizu to collect a much applauded gold medal, but he did so in style, setting the best time of the competition with 35.59. Later that year, Shimizu became the first skater to beat 35 seconds in the 500 m, lowering the world best to 34.82.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T
1 Hiroyasu Shimizu 23 Japan JPN Gold 71.35 OR
2 Jeremy Wotherspoon 21 Canada CAN Silver 71.84 OR
3 Kevin Overland 23 Canada CAN Bronze 71.86
4 Sylvain Bouchard 27 Canada CAN 72.00
5 Pat Bouchard 24 Canada CAN 72.05
6 Casey FitzRandolph 23 United States USA 72.20
7 Kim Yun-Man 24 South Korea KOR 72.36
8 Lee Gyu-Hyeok 19 South Korea KOR 72.55
9 Ermanno Ioriatti 22 Italy ITA 72.66
10 Roger Strøm 31 Norway NOR 72.68 OR
11 Michael Künzel 24 Germany GER 72.75 OR
12 Jan Bos 22 Netherlands NED 72.77 OR
13 Manabu Horii 25 Japan JPN 72.78
14 Sergey Klevchenya 27 Russia RUS 72.86
15 Hiroaki Yamakage 23 Japan JPN 72.91
16T Jegal Seong-Ryeol 27 South Korea KOR 72.97
16T Toshiyuki Kuroiwa 28 Japan JPN 72.97
18 Janne Hänninen 22 Finland FIN 73.04
19 Christian Breuer 21 Germany GER 73.19 OR
20 Aleksandr Golubyov 25 Russia RUS 73.21
21 Jakko Jan Leeuwangh 25 Netherlands NED 73.23
22 Paweł Abratkiewicz 27 Poland POL 73.27
23 Marc Pelchat 30 United States USA 73.35 OR
24 Vadim Shakshakbayev 26 Kazakhstan KAZ 73.44
25 Dave Cruikshank 29 United States USA 73.53
26 Tomasz Świst 23 Poland POL 73.54
27 Li Yu 21 China CHN 73.58
28 Liu Hongbo 24 China CHN 73.72
29 Roland Brunner 27 Austria AUT 73.76
30 Davide Carta 25 Italy ITA 73.91 OR
31 Dai Dengwen 21 China CHN 73.98
32 Vladimir Klepinin 26 Kazakhstan KAZ 74.14
33 Aleksandr Kibalko 24 Russia RUS 74.18 OR
34 Kim Jin-Su 21 South Korea KOR 74.32
35 Oleh Kostromitin 25 Ukraine UKR 74.46
36 Cory Carpenter 21 United States USA 75.11
37 Zsolt Baló 26 Hungary HUN 76.56 OR
38 Ids Postma 24 Netherlands NED 116.49
AC Erben Wennemars 22 Netherlands NED DNF
AC Grunde Njøs 30 Norway NOR DNF
AC Peter Adeberg 29 Germany GER DNF
AC Sergey Savelyev 25 Russia RUS DQ