| Event type

3,000 metres, Women

Date 8 February 1976 — 9:45
LocationEisschnellaufbahn im Olympiaeisstadion, Innsbruck
Participants26 from 12 countries
Olympic Record 4:52.14 / Stien Baas-Kaiser NED / 12 February 1972
StarterManfred ZojerAUT
RefereeJean HecklySUI

At the 1975 World Championships, the distance had been won by Dutch skater Sippie Tigchelaar, who was not in Innsbruck because of disputes with the Dutch national team. Second was East Germany’s Karin Kessow, who won the all-around, followed by Soviet skater, Tatyana Averina, who had already won the 1,000 in Innsbruck. The world record had been set by Tamara Kuznetsova at Medeo in 1975, but she was also not at the 1976 Winter Olympics.

In the first pair East German Ines Bautzmann broke the Olympic record with 4:46.67. Averina was in the sixth pair and moved ahead, posting 4:45.19, narrowly above the world record of 4:44.69, and three seconds better than her PB. Three pairs later Norway’s Lisbeth Korsmo was right on Averina’s pace for most of the race only to miss out by a tantalizingly close margin, 4:45.24 – only 5/100ths of a second back. In the 10th pair, East German Andrea Mitscherlich was even closer, finishing in 4:45.23, especially fast when one considers that Mitscherlich had only recently turned 15-years-old. Kessow was up in the final pair, the 13th. She skated well, and was never much off the leading pace, finishing in 4:45.60. Remarkably the four top skaters were within 41/100ths of a second.

Averina was the top female skater at the 1976 Winter Olympics. She won two gold medals and two bronze medals in the four events. This was her first ever victory in a 3,000 at a major meet, as early in her career, she had primarily been considered a sprinter. Averina would win the 1978 World Championships.

16ITatyana AverinaURS4:45.19GoldOR
210IAndrea MitscherlichGDR4:45.23Silver
39OLisbeth KorsmoNOR4:45.24Bronze
413OKarin KessowGDR4:45.60
51IInes BautzmannGDR4:46.67OR
610OSylvia FilipssonSWE4:48.15
72INancy SwiderUSA4:48.46
87ISylvia BurkaCAN4:49.04
98ISijtje van der LendeNED4:50.86
109IErwina RyśPOL4:50.95
115OBeth HeidenUSA4:51.67
126OTuula VilkasFIN4:51.71
1313INina StatkevichURS4:53.94
144ITatyana ShelekhovaURS4:54.03
153OAnnie BorckinkNED4:56.75
1611IJanina KorowickaPOL4:57.48
1711OCindy SeikkulaUSA4:57.57
1812OLiz ApplebyCAN4:58.68
197OYuko OtaJPN4:58.92
2012IChrista JaarsmaNED5:00.08
211OChieko ItoJPN5:02.57
224OPaula-Irmeli HalonenFIN5:03.08
233IGayle GordonCAN5:07.09
248OLee Nam-SunKOR5:08.34
252OEwa MalewickaPOL5:08.79
265ILinda RomboutsBEL5:10.35