| Event type

10,000 metres, Men

Date17 February 1998 — 15:00
LocationM-Wave, Nagano
Participants16 from 9 countries
Olympic Record 13:30.55 WR / Johann Olav Koss NOR / 20 February 1994
StarterMinoru ShinpoJPN
RefereeFolkert BrouwerNED

After his display in the 5,000 m, Gianni Romme was expected not only to win the race, but also beat Johann Olav Koss’s world record from the 1994 Olympics. His 13:30.55 had been unapproachable since, and had not yet been beaten, despite the introduction of the clap skate. Romme, the defending World Champion, had won the season’s only World Cup race, beating his competition by more than 15 seconds in Innsbruck. As in the 5,000 m, competition was mostly expected from the other Dutchmen, Rintje Ritsma and Bob De Jong, and a former Dutchman, Bart Veldkamp.

When Romme started his race, Kjell Storelid was the leader. His 13:35.95 had been his best time since the 1994 Olympics, when he had placed second behind Koss. But Romme obliterated the Norwegian’s time, beating it by 20 seconds, and Koss’s old record by 15 seconds for a new world best of 13:15.33. He completely overshadowed his pair mate, Bob de Jong, who also went below the old time with 13:25.76.

As the gold medal seemed secure in the hands of Romme, Ritsma and Veldkamp set out for the remaining medals in the final pair. Ritsma, having beaten Veldkamp by just 0.07 for the silver in the 5,000 m, set out the fastest, but Veldkamp slowly gained ground, and took the lead at 8,000 m. Ritsma fell more than a second behind, and his medal chances seemed lost until he regained himself and closed the gap in the final two laps to beat Veldkamp for the bronze medal. Thus, the Dutch swept the medals, the first time the Netherlands has done so at the Olympic Games. As in other distances, Romme’s World Record was not to last very long. He himself lowered it by another 7 seconds in March at the World Single Distance Championships.

17OGianni RommeNED13:15.33GoldWR
27IBob de JongNED13:25.76Silver
38IRintje RitsmaNED13:28.19Bronze
48OBart VeldkampBEL13:29.69
56OKjell StorelidNOR13:35.95
66IFrank DittrichGER13:36.58
73OLasse SætreNOR13:42.94
81OKC BoutietteUSA13:44.03
94IRoberto SighelITA13:46.85
102OAlexander BaumgärtelGER13:48.44
115IRené TaubenrauchGER13:52.10
123IMarnix ten KortenaarAUT13:52.30
131IVadim SayutinRUS13:54.57
145OKeiji ShirahataJPN13:57.45
154ORemi HereideNOR14:09.90
162IDave TamburrinoUSA14:12.00