| Event type

1,500 metres, Men

Date16 February 1968 — 9:00
LocationL'Anneau de Vitesse, Grenoble
Participants53 from 18 countries
Olympic Record 2:08.6 WR / Yury Mikhaylov URS / 30 January 1956
2:08.6 WR / Yevgeny Grishin URS / 30 January 1956
StarterLeif HjallumNOR
RefereeSven LåftmanSWE

This event looked to be a battle between two Dutch skaters, Ard Schenk and Kees Verkerk, who was the 1964 silver medalist, the 1966 and 1967 World All-Around Champion, and the 1967 European Champion. Between them they had won the distance at most of the recent international tournaments, including the 1966 and 1967 World and European Championships. But the 1968 Europeans had been held shortly before the Winter Olympics and that distance was won by Soviet skater Eduard Matusevich. Another contender was the world record holder, Magne Thomassen of Norway, who had recorded 2:02.5 in Davos only 11 days previously.

Schenk and Matusevich were the first favorites off, together in the second pair, and Schenk posted 2:05.0 for the others to shoot at, while Matusevich trailed in 2:06.1, and would eventually place eighth. Verkerk was in the sixth pair and he was right on pace through 700 metres, and slightly ahead at 1,100. He finished in 2:03.4, which would easily win him the gold medal. Five pairs later, Norway’s Ivar Eriksen came through to tie Schenk in 2:05.0. He was followed by Thomassen, who skated in the 12th pair, and finished in 2:05.1, just outside the medals.

Verkerk had been around since 1963 at an international level and his career would last until 1974, during which he would win the 1966 and 1967 World Championships and the 1967 European Championship. He would finish his career with four Olympic medals, but this would be his only gold. Schenk would soon become the greatest skater in the world, and one of the greatest ever. In 1972 at Sapporo, he would gold medals in all but the 500 metres. During his career he set 18 world records, and won the World Championships consecutively from 1970-72 and the European Championships in 1966 and 1970.

16OKees VerkerkNED2:03.4GoldOR
=211OIvar EriksenNOR2:05.0Silver
=22IArd SchenkNED2:05.0SilverOR
412IMagne ThomassenNOR2:05.1
=524IJohnny HöglinSWE2:05.2
=517IBjørn TveterNOR2:05.2
725OSvein-Erik StiansenNOR2:05.5
82OEduard MatusevichURS2:06.1
922OPeter NottetNED2:06.3
1010OÖrjan SandlerSWE2:07.0
111IAleksandr KerchenkoURS2:07.1OR
=1218IAnts AntsonURS2:07.2
=1223OValery KaplanURS2:07.2
141OJouko LaunonenFIN2:07.5
155IGünter TraubFRG2:07.7
=1615IJan BolsNED2:07.8
=1621OManne LavåsSWE2:07.8
189IKimmo KoskinenFIN2:07.9
195ORichie WursterUSA2:08.4
203OGöran ClaesonSWE2:08.6
2121IOlavi HjellmanFIN2:10.1
2218OJürgen TraubFRG2:10.2
2320OWayne LeBombardUSA2:11.2
=2424ORaimo HietalaFIN2:11.7
=248OBill LaniganUSA2:11.7
2610IBob HodgesCAN2:12.0
277IGyörgy MartosHUN2:12.2
283IJohn TipperGBR2:12.4
2922IGyörgy IvánkaiHUN2:12.6
3016ITadao IshihataJPN2:12.7
318IKeiichi SuzukiJPN2:13.1
3213OGiancarlo GloderITA2:13.2
3326IElio LocatelliITA2:13.3
=3423IRoger CapanUSA2:13.6
=347ORenato De RivaITA2:13.6
3613IMichel ThépénierFRA2:13.7
379OFrançois PerrenoudFRA2:14.0
3815OGuido GillarduzziITA2:14.1
3927IOtmar BrauneckerAUT2:14.4
=4025IMutsuhiko MaedaJPN2:14.8
=406IHermann StrutzAUT2:14.8
=404IMasaki SuzukiJPN2:14.8
4326OGeoff StockdaleGBR2:15.6
4420IErich KorbelAUT2:15.7
4519IMihály MartosHUN2:15.8
4619OPete WilliamsonCAN2:16.0
4711IHansruedi WidmerSUI2:16.1
4814IFranz KrienbühlSUI2:16.3
=4917OColin CoatesAUS2:16.7
=494OLuvsanlkhagvyn DashnyamMGL2:16.7
5116OLee Ik-HwanKOR2:17.5
5214OBüjiin JalbaaMGL2:18.0
5312ODave BodingtonGBR2:19.1