Host City: Nagano, Japan
Venue(s): White Ring, Nagano
Date Started: February 19, 1998
Date Finished: February 21, 1998
Format: Placements 1-8 based on final and B final.
Based on results from 1997, South Korea was the team to beat in this event, having won the relay competition at both the World Championships and World Team Championships. On both occasions, the Canadians had been runners-up, with the Italians making the final in both competitions as well. All three of these teams qualified for the Nagano final as well, supplemented by the Chinese, who had already won two individual medals in competition at that point.
The Italians took the lead for the first half of the race, before being overtaken by Canada. Soon after, defending champions Italy fell behind due to a fall, and they were never again in contention. At three-quarters, another fall influenced the race. This time it was Chinese skater Li Jiajun, taking one of the South Koreans with him. This gave Canada an easy lead that they would not let go. The Koreans were quick to resume the race and had closed most of the gap with the leaders, but were still seven tenths short at the finish. The B final was won by Japan, who broke the Olympic record, beating the winning time of the real final by 5 seconds.