For the first time an American woman was favored in a speed skating event and that would be Anne Henning. Although defending champion Lyudmila Titova was still around, and had won the 500 and 1,000 at the 1971 and 1972 European Championships, she had been surpassed as a short sprinter by Henning. Henning had set the three most recent world records, two in 1971 in Inzell, and most recently, recording 42.5 at Davos in January 1972. At the 1971 World Sprints she had won both 500s and won the 500 distance at the 1971 World Championships. Titova started in the fourth pair and posted 44.45 to take the lead. Henning was in the next pair with Canada’s Sylvia Burka. Henning got off very quickly and was even with Burka at the changeover. But Burka, with poor vision in one eye, did not see Henning and impeded her. Henning held up briefly to avoid a collision, even standing up a bit, but then raced madly to the finish, recording 43.73. Burka was disqualified and Henning was allowed a re-start. In her second run, she bettered her own time, finishing in 43.33. Either of her runs would have won the gold medal. In the sixth pair, East Germany’s Ruth Budzisch was considered a threat, as she had won the 1971 World Sprint Championship. But she was better in the 1,000 and her time of 45.78 would place her only 13th. In the 11th pair, Soviet Vera Krasnova came through in 44.01 to earn the silver medal, moving Titova back to bronze.