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Speed Skating at the 1998 Nagano Winter Games:

Women's 3,000 metres

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Host City: Nagano, Japan
Venue(s): M-Wave, Nagano
Date Started: February 11, 1998
Date Finished: February 11, 1998

Gold: GER Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann-Kleemann
Silver: GER Claudia Pechstein
Bronze: GER Anni Friesinger-Postma

Summary

The Olympic gold medal in the 3000 m seemed predestined for a German skater. Based on previous results, it would be Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann. She had won the 1997 world title, and held the world record since 1990. She had also won the World Allround Championships six times between 1991 and 1997, winning the 3,000 m on each occasion. In 1992, she had won the Olympic title in this distance, losing it surprisingly in 1994 due to a fall. But Niemann’s compatriot Claudia Pechstein seemed like a serious contender. At the Berlin World Cup, she had beaten Niemann, and in December she had taken Niemann’s World Record, although in the absence of her rival.

The first skater to break the Olympic Record, dating back to 1988, was American Jennifer Rodriguez, a former inline skater with Cuban roots. Her 4:11.64 would eventually land her in 4th place. Her time was next beaten by upcoming German star, Anni Friesinger. The next pair saw Pechstein and Hunyady taking off fast. Hunyady fell behind after a few laps, but Pechstein kept up the pace until she slowed in the final two laps. She finished in 4:08.27.

Pechstein’s last laps left room for Niemann, whose splits were behind Pechstein’s until 2,200 m. But she managed to gain a second advantage in the final two laps, thereby taking her third Olympic gold medal after two titles in 1992. The German women swept the medals, as they had done in 1984, with the difference that back then, all three women had been from East Germany, while in Nagano, Friesinger was from the former West Germany.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T 2c 6c 1k 1.4k 1.8k 2.2k 2.6k
1 Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann-Kleemann 31 Germany GER Gold 4:07.29 20.18 51.41 1:23.00 1:54.55 2:26.53 2:59.27 3:32.91 OR
2 Claudia Pechstein 25 Germany GER Silver 4:08.47 20.11 51.41 1:22.79 1:54.30 2:26.29 2:59.12 3:33.21 OR
3 Anni Friesinger-Postma 21 Germany GER Bronze 4:09.44 20.21 51.40 1:23.63 1:56.23 2:29.06 3:02.07 3:35.34 OR
4 Jennifer Rodriguez 21 United States USA 4:11.64 20.35 52.99 1:25.81 1:58.59 2:31.41 3:04.43 3:37.62 OR
5 Emese Nemeth-Hunyady 31 Austria AUT 4:12.01 19.98 51.43 1:22.83 1:55.35 2:28.05 3:01.34 3:35.69
6 Kirstin Holum 17 United States USA 4:12.24 20.79 52.62 1:24.75 1:57.21 2:30.24 3:03.69 3:37.73
7 Lyudmila Prokashova 29 Kazakhstan KAZ 4:14.23 20.26 52.03 1:24.99 1:58.49 2:32.25 3:05.93 3:39.83
8 Annamarie Thomas 26 Netherlands NED 4:14.38 20.10 52.80 1:25.11 1:58.26 2:32.03 3:05.92 3:39.90
9 Carla Zijlstra 28 Netherlands NED 4:16.43 20.60 53.61 1:27.08 2:00.40 2:33.96 3:08.13 3:42.26
10 Svetlana Bazhanova 25 Russia RUS 4:16.45 20.57 52.89 1:25.94 1:58.77 2:32.14 3:06.04 3:40.86
11 Elena Belci 33 Italy ITA 4:16.62 20.50 52.62 1:25.20 1:58.58 2:32.28 3:06.31 3:41.28
12 Svetlana Vysokova 25 Russia RUS 4:17.70 21.28 54.20 1:27.32 2:01.19 2:34.94 3:09.18 3:43.33
13 Tatyana Trapeznikova 24 Russia RUS 4:17.76 20.16 52.96 1:25.88 1:59.35 2:32.92 3:07.05 3:41.88
14 Mie Uehara 26 Japan JPN 4:17.92 20.46 52.33 1:25.00 1:58.25 2:32.26 3:06.78 3:42.02
15 Anette Tønsberg 27 Norway NOR 4:19.24 20.45 52.70 1:25.31 1:58.70 2:32.63 3:07.26 3:42.86
16 Tonny de Jong 23 Netherlands NED 4:19.54 20.38 53.08 1:26.12 1:59.62 2:33.85 3:08.53 3:44.09
17 Chiharu Nozaki 24 Japan JPN 4:19.60 20.90 53.86 1:26.67 2:00.27 2:34.42 3:09.55 3:44.58
18 Noriko Munekata 24 Japan JPN 4:20.72 20.29 52.52 1:25.05 1:58.41 2:32.59 3:07.47 3:43.56
19 Cindy Overland 21 Canada CAN 4:20.81 21.17 54.72 1:28.03 2:02.14 2:36.27 3:10.83 3:45.70
20 Lee Gyeong-Nam 17 South Korea KOR 4:21.10 21.61 54.67 1:27.73 2:01.43 2:35.66 3:10.17 3:45.46
21 Susan Massitti 34 Canada CAN 4:21.66 20.94 53.60 1:27.05 2:00.58 2:34.80 3:09.82 3:45.60
22 Catherine Raney Norman 17 United States USA 4:22.55 21.27 54.36 1:28.17 2:01.70 2:35.39 3:09.84 3:45.61
23 Baeg Eun-Bi 18 South Korea KOR 4:24.50 21.57 54.33 1:27.37 2:01.68 2:37.09 3:12.30 3:47.97
24 Mihaela Dascălu 27 Romania ROU 4:26.65 20.81 54.47 1:29.16 2:04.25 2:39.91 3:15.44 3:51.09
25 Ingrid Liepa 31 Canada CAN 4:27.99 21.35 55.57 1:29.95 2:05.01 2:40.07 3:15.55 3:51.34
26 Song Li 16 China CHN 4:28.99 21.15 55.68 1:31.28 2:06.83 2:42.12 3:17.58 3:53.08
27 Emese Dörfler-Antal 26 Austria AUT 4:33.67 20.65 53.68 1:27.75 2:02.99 2:39.51 3:16.88 3:55.15
28 Ilonda Lūse 25 Latvia LAT 4:33.77 20.47 54.16 1:29.76 2:06.03 2:42.51 3:19.31 3:56.53
29 Svetlana Chepelnikova 18 Belarus BLR 4:36.97 20.87 55.87 1:32.70 2:09.49 2:46.17 3:23.47 4:00.02
30 Svitlana Konstantynova 23 Ukraine UKR 4:37.27 21.12 55.32 1:30.55 2:06.43 2:42.90 3:20.08 3:58.14
31 Kenzhesh Sarsekenova-Orynbayeva 25 Kazakhstan KAZ 4:42.07 21.19 55.66 1:31.83 2:08.79 2:46.12 3:24.52 4:03.52