| Event type

1,500 metres, Women

Date10 February 1968 — 10:00
LocationL'Anneau de Vitesse, Grenoble
Participants30 from 12 countries
StarterLeif HjallumNOR
RefereeHenny RoosNED

The Netherlands’ Stien Kaiser had to be favored. She had not lost the distance at any major meet since the 1966 World Championship, when she was second, and she had won the distance and the all-around at the 1967 and 1968 Worlds. The world record was 2:19.0, set by Inga Voronina at Medeo in 1962, but she was long since retired. But skating in the fifth pair, Kaiser posted a pedestrian 2:24.5, which did not even break the Olympic record, although it put her in the lead. But in the next pair, Finland’s Kaija Mustonen, who had won the silver medal in the event in 1964, but little else, shattered Kaiser’s hopes with an Olympic record 2:22.4. And Kaiser was pushed back to bronze when her teammate, Carry Geijssen, came through in 2:22.7 for a silver medal. Near the end of the event, in the 13th pair, was the two-time defending champion, and six-time Olympic gold medalist, Lidiya Skoblikova. But at the end of her career, she would finish only 11th.

For Kaiser Grenoble would be a horrible Olympic experience. Even a bigger favorite in the 3,000, she would also win bronze in that event, and left France with no gold medals. She would return to the Olympics in 1972 and win a gold in the 3,000 and silver in the 1,500. Geijssen had won the 1966 Dutch All-Around, but usually finished behind her teammate. But the next day, she would win the gold medal in the 1,000, the highlight of her career. Mustonen had an unusual career. This was the only major international race she ever won, but she knew how to come through at the Olympics. In 1964 she won a silver in the 1,500 and bronze in the 1,000, and in Grenoble she would add a silver in the 3,000 to her gold in the 1,500.

16OKaija MustonenFIN2:22.4ORGold
28ICarry GeijssenNED2:22.7Silver
35OStien KaiserNED2:24.5Bronze
43OSigrid SundbyNOR2:25.2
511ILāsma KaunisteURS2:25.4
64IKaija-Liisa KeskivitikkaFIN2:25.8
71ILyudmila TitovaURS2:26.8
85IRuth SchleiermacherGDR2:27.1
=92IChristina LindblomSWE2:27.5
=93IHildegard SellhuberFRG2:27.5
1113OLidiya SkoblikovaURS2:27.6
1214OAns SchutNED2:28.3
136IDianne HolumUSA2:28.5
=142OMartine IvangineFRA2:29.9
=1415IKari KåringNOR2:29.9
1610OJeanne AshworthUSA2:30.3
178OLisbeth BergNOR2:30.7
=1811OChristina KarlssonSWE2:31.4
=1810ISachiko SaitoJPN2:31.4
2015OYlva HedlundSWE2:31.5
214ODoreen McCannellCAN2:32.2
2214IArja KantolaFIN2:33.2
231OKaname IdeJPN2:34.2
249IMarcia ParsonsCAN2:34.4
2512IJeanne OmelenchukUSA2:35.5
2612OJitsuko SaitoJPN2:36.6
279OKim Gwi-JinKOR2:36.7
287IMarie-Louise PerrenoudFRA2:39.2
2913IPatricia DemartiniFRA2:40.6
307OPaula DufterFRG2:45.2