| Event type

3 × 5 kilometres Relay, Women

Date12 February 1972 — 9:00
LocationMakomanai Cross Country Events Site, Sapporo
Participants33 from 11 countries
DetailsCourse Length: ?
Height Differential: 43 m
Maximum Climb: 37 m
Total Climbing: 126 m

After their impressive results in the two individual events, the Soviet ladies were highly favored for the relay. Their strongest opponents was expected to be defending Olympic champion Norway and Finland, who came third at the 1970 World Championships. East Germany had surprised everybody by placing second at the 1970 World Championship behind the Soviet team, ahead of Finland and Norway, but their ladies had not impressed in the individual events in Sapporo, with Renate Fischer’s ninth place in the 10 km race their best result.

On the first leg, Soviet’s Lyubov Mukhachova built up a clear lead, reaching the exchange over 15 seconds ahead of Helena Takalo for Finland. Four teams were close together, over half a minute behind Finland, with Helena Šikolová putting Czechoslovakia into third place, closely followed by Norway, East Germany and West Germany. Sweden, silver medalist from the 1968 Games, was far behind in eighth place, 1:43 behind the leader.

On the second leg Alevtina Olyunina increased the Soviet lead to 25 seconds with Finland’s Hilkka Kuntola still in a secure second position. Norway’s Aslaug Dahl had left the other teams behind and advanced to third, followed by East Germany, Czechoslovakia and West Germany.

Double Olympic Champion Galina Kulakova on the anchor leg secured the victory for Soviet and her third Olympic gold medal with a comfortable margin, 1:03 ahead of Finland’s Marjatta Kajosmaa. Norway’s Berit Mørdre-Lammedal had no problems to hold off her opponents for the bronze medal. Michaela Endler for West Germany, who started out as sixth, passed Czechoslovakia quickly and was able to outsprint East Germany’s Anni Unger in the final part of the race in a close battle for fourth place.

11Soviet UnionURS48:16.15– (–)Gold
Lead-Off1-1Lyubov Mukhachova 16:49.2016:49.20 (1)
2nd Leg1-2Alevtina Olyunina-Smirnova 16:30.9133:20.11 (1)
Anchor1-3Galina Kulakova 15:26.0448:16.15 (1)
23FinlandFIN49:19.37– (–)Silver
Lead-Off3-1Helena Kivioja-Takalo 17:04.9317:04.93 (2)
2nd Leg3-2Hilkka Kuntola-Riihivuori 16:41.6733:46.60 (2)
Anchor3-3Marjatta Kajosmaa 15:32.7749:19.37 (2)
34NorwayNOR49:51.49– (–)Bronze
Lead-Off4-1Inger Aufles 17:36.7517:36.75 (4)
2nd Leg4-2Aslaug Dahl 16:34.8734:11.62 (3)
Anchor4-3Berit Mørdre-Lammedal 15:39.8749:51.49 (3)
46West GermanyFRG50:25.61– (–)
Lead-Off6-1Monika Mrklas 17:40.2217:40.22 (6)
2nd Leg6-2Ingrid Rothfuß 17:06.5034:46.72 (6)
Anchor6-3Michaela Endler 15:38.8950:25.61 (4)
52East GermanyGDR50:28.45– (–)
Lead-Off2-1Gabi Haupt 17:37.3217:37.32 (5)
2nd Leg2-2Renate Köhler-Fischer 16:49.5634:26.88 (4)
Anchor2-3Anni Unger 16:01.5750:28.45 (5)
65CzechoslovakiaTCH51:16.16– (–)
Lead-Off5-1Alena Bartošová 17:35.7717:35.77 (3)
2nd Leg5-2Helena Šikolová 17:06.4734:42.24 (5)
Anchor5-3Milena Cillerová 16:33.9251:16.16 (6)
78PolandPOL51:49.13– (–)
Lead-Off8-1Anna Gębala-Duraj 18:21.9318:21.93 (7)
2nd Leg8-2Józefa Chromik 17:15.4535:37.38 (7)
Anchor8-3Weronika Budny 16:11.7551:49.13 (7)
87SwedenSWE51:51.84– (–)
Lead-Off7-1Meeri Bodelid 18:32.2418:32.24 (9)
2nd Leg7-2Eva Olsson 17:09.9135:42.15 (8)
Anchor7-3Birgitta Lindqvist 16:09.6951:51.84 (8)
99JapanJPN53:20.75– (–)
Lead-Off9-1Tokiko Ozeki 18:30.5418:30.54 (8)
2nd Leg9-2Hiroko Takahashi 17:51.4136:21.95 (10)
Anchor9-3Hideko Saito 16:58.8053:20.75 (9)
1011CanadaCAN53:37.82– (–)
Lead-Off11-1Shirley Firth 18:39.4718:39.47 (10)
2nd Leg11-2Sharon Firth 17:37.2936:16.76 (9)
Anchor11-3Roseanne Allen 17:21.0653:37.82 (10)
1110United StatesUSA53:38.60– (–)
Lead-Off10-1Barbara Britch 18:48.5418:48.54 (11)
2nd Leg10-2Alison Owen-Spencer 18:33.6637:22.20 (11)
Anchor10-3Martha Rockwell 16:16.4053:38.60 (11)