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. Deeper placements based on points earned in earlier rounds, and time in final round skated.
There were plenty of favorites for the 500 m, with the usual batch of strong field of Asians. South Korea's team was led by [Kim Dong-Seong], the 1997 World Champion, while China's top entrant was [Feng Kai]. The home team had their hopes pinned on [Satoru Terao], bronze medallist at the most recent Worlds. Outside of Asia, there was [Marc Gagnon] of Canada, and [Dave Versteeg], who had recently bettered the world record at the European Championships to 42.648.
Four of the aforementioned skaters, Kim, Feng, Terao and Versteeg found themselves in the same quarter-final heat. To the disappointment of the crowd, Terao tumbled out, as Versteeg and Kim advanced. But there were still two other Japanese skaters in the running, [Hitoshi Uematsu] and the unheralded [Takafumi Nishitani]. Both of them managed to win their semi-final heat, leaving the audience hoping for more. In the final 19-year-old Nishitani had the best start, and was never passed again. He crossed the line first for an upset title, followed by [An Yunlong] (China). Due to Gagnon falling, Uematsu secured the bronze, adding to the Japanese celebrations.
|5||Chae Ji-Hun||23||South Korea||KOR|
|7||Andy Gabel||33||United States||USA|
|8||Kim Dong-Seong||17||South Korea||KOR|
|12||Lee Jun-Hwan||20||South Korea||KOR||6||44.417|
|17||Dan Weinstein||17||United States||USA||2||43.492|
|22||Rusty Smith||18||United States||USA||2||44.584|
|26||Han Sang-Guk||19||North Korea||PRK||1||44.206|
|27||Yun Chol||23||North Korea||PRK||1||45.014|
|29||Nicky Gooch||25||Great Britain||GBR||1||1:08.91|
|30||Matt Jasper||25||Great Britain||GBR||0||DQ|