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Speed Skating at the 1998 Nagano Winter Games:

Women's 500 metres

Speed Skating at the 1998 Winter Games: Previous Winter Games ▪ Next Winter Games


Host City: Nagano, Japan
Venue(s): M-Wave, Nagano
Date Started: February 13, 1998
Date Finished: February 14, 1998
Format: Two runs, total time determined placement.

Gold: CAN Catriona Le May Doan
Silver: CAN Susan Auch
Bronze: JPN Tomomi Okazaki


Only one woman was expected to win the 500 m in Nagano: [Catriona Le May Doan]. At the start of the season, she had lowered defending champion [Bonnie Blair]’s world record to 37.90, becoming the first woman to beat 38 seconds in the 500 m. She lowered it a few times more to 37.55 in December 1997. Weeks before the Olympics, Le May Doan won the distance twice at the World Sprint Championships, also grabbing the overall title. She had also won five of the six World Cup races that season, the only other victory being claimed by fellow Canadian [Susan Auch]. Some of the top racers from the previous season had trouble adapting to the new clap skate, such as 1997 World Champion [Xue Ruihong], who would fare no better than 14th at the Olympics.

Two heats were being run at the Olympics for the first time, but this did not affect the results, with both runs having the exact same top three. Catriona Le May Doan won the first run as expected, but her lead over Auch was just 0.03 seconds, and the time was somewhat slower than expected (38.39). Third behind the two Canadians was home skater [Tomomi Okazaki], beloved with the crowd for her smile. The gap to the fourth skater, [Kyoko Shimazaki], was substantial, and the medals appeared decided already.

The next day, nothing changed. 1997 world bronze medalist [Franziska Schenk] moved up to 4th place, while Okazaki replicated her first day race to stay in third. In the final pair, Auch and Le May faced each other. As always, Auch had the better start of the two, but Le May the better full lap, now beating Auch by 3 tenths of a second.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsRace 1Race 2

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T
1 Catriona Le May Doan 27 Canada CAN Gold 76.60 OR
2 Susan Auch 31 Canada CAN Silver 76.93
3 Tomomi Okazaki 26 Japan JPN Bronze 77.10 OR
4 Franziska Schenk 23 Germany GER 77.45 OR
5 Kyoko Shimazaki 26 Japan JPN 77.68
6 Marianne Timmer 23 Netherlands NED 78.15 OR
7 Sabine Völker 24 Germany GER 78.19
8 Monique Garbrecht-Enfeldt 29 Germany GER 78.45
9 Svetlana Boyarkina-Zhurova 26 Russia RUS 78.49
10 Chris Witty 22 United States USA 78.53
11 Eriko Sanmiya 23 Japan JPN 78.56 OR
12 Shiho Kusunose 28 Japan JPN 78.80 OR
13 Linda Johnson-Blair 26 Canada CAN 78.81
14 Xue Ruihong 29 China CHN 79.02
15 Anke Baier-Loef 25 Germany GER 79.48 OR
16 Anzhelika Kotyuga 27 Belarus BLR 79.61
17T Becky Sundstrom 21 United States USA 79.86 OR
17T Sandra Zwolle 26 Netherlands NED 79.86
19 Moira D'Andrea 29 United States USA 79.92
20 Edel Therese Høiseth 32 Norway NOR 80.01
21 Oksana Ravilova 30 Russia RUS 80.03
22 Wang Manli 24 China CHN 80.07
23 Yang Chunyuan 24 China CHN 80.16
24T Marieke Wijsman 22 Netherlands NED 80.79 OR
24T Choi Seung-Yong 18 South Korea KOR 80.79
26 Amy Sannes 21 United States USA 80.90 OR
27 Lesia Bilozub 26 Ukraine UKR 80.94
28 Tatyana Danshina 22 Russia RUS 81.12
29 Cheon Hui-Ju 22 South Korea KOR 81.62 OR
30 Gang Mi-Yeong 19 South Korea KOR 82.25
31 Lyudmila Kostyukevich 33 Belarus BLR 82.43 OR
32 Krisztina Egyed 21 Hungary HUN 82.61
33T Michelle Morton 25 Canada CAN 82.79 OR
33T Kim Ju-Hyeon 17 South Korea KOR 82.79
35 Kim Jong-Hui 17 North Korea PRK 83.74
36 Jin Hua 25 China CHN 104.39
37 Andrea Nuyt 23 Netherlands NED 117.94
AC Emese Nemeth-Hunyady 31 Austria AUT DQ