|Date||22 February 1960|
|Location||Speed Skating Oval, Squaw Valley, California|
|Participants||22 from 10 countries|
Although there was no clear favorite, one thing was certain – the winner would be a Soviet skater. Soviet women had held the first four places at the last three World Championships, including the recent 1960 Worlds. In fact, at the World Championships, the last time any non-Soviet skater had mounted the all-around podium was in 1952, a third place by Norway’s Randi Thorvaldsen. The three Soviet entrants in the event were Klara Guseva, Lidiya Skoblikova, and Tamara Rylova.
Guseva was up in the first pair, and finished in 1:34.1, not far off Rylova’s world record, which had been set at Medeo, and had lasted since 1955. In the fourth pair, Germany’s Helga Haase, who had surprisingly won the 500 two days before. She went out ahead of Guseva’s pace, but could not finish as strongly, crossing in 1:34.3. Rylova was in the sixth pair, and she matched Haase’s pace through 600 metres but was even slower on the final lap, finishing in 1:34.8. And those three would mount the podium. Skoblikova was in the 10th pair, but finished in 1:35.3 for fourth place. She had already won the 1,500 at Squaw Valley and would later win the 3,000. In 1964 she would dominate the women’s events, winning all four gold medals. Guseva had won this distance at the recent 1960 World Championships, but had placed only 15th overall, and was the least heralded of the Soviet women.
|Pos||Pair||Skater||NOC||Time||200 m||600 m|