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| Event type

1,500 metres, Men

Date30 January 1956 — 14:00-16:05
StatusOlympic
LocationPista di Misurina, Misurina
Participants54 from 18 countries
Olympic Record 2:17.6 / Sverre Farstad NOR / 2 February 1948
StarterErnst von ArxSUI
StarterGianni CantoniITA
RefereeNino FresiaITA

Prior to the 1956 season, the world record was held by Yevgeny Grishin, who had won the 500 on Lake Misurina only two days before. But at a pre-Olympic meet, 10 days before this race, Yury Mikhaylov had broken Grishin’s mark, recording 2:09.1 in Davos. Other winners of recent major titles at the distance were in Cortina. Boris Shilkov had won the distance and the all-around at the 1954 World and European Championships. Norwegian Hroar Elvenes had won the distance at the 1955 Europeans. At the 1955 World Championships, Soviet skater Oleg Goncharenko won the 1,500 but he would only compete in longer distances, winning bronze medals in both the 5 and 10K in Cortina.

In the first pair was Finland’s Toivo Salonen, who was a top sprinter but better at 500 metres. He had won the 500 at the 1953 Europeans and Worlds and the 1955 World Championships. Salonen posted 2:09.4, the second fastest time ever, which was a formidable mark for the other skaters to look at, and he had placed second in Davos behind Mikhaylov’s world record race. In fact nobody approached it until his teammate, Juhani Järvinen finished the ninth pair in 2:09.7. Grishin was in the 11th pair. He started slightly slower than Salonen (26.5 to 26.6) but caught him by 700 metres and powered ahead to finish in a world record 2:08.6. Mikhaylov was in the next pair. He led Grishin’s pace at 700 and 1,100 metres, but could not finish as strongly, and also crossed the line in 2:08.6. The two would share the gold medal, with Salonen holding on for the bronze and Järvinen in fourth place. Elvenes had the misfortune to be drawn in the final (27th) pair, and finished only 24th.

PosPairSkaterNOCTime
=111OYevgeny GrishinURS2:08.6WRGold
=112IYury MikhaylovURS2:08.6WRGold
31IToivo SalonenFIN2:09.4Bronze1
49IJuhani JärvinenFIN2:09.7
517ORobert MerkulovURS2:10.3
63OSigvard EricssonSWE2:11.0
77OColin HickeyAUS2:11.8
816IBoris ShilkovURS2:11.9
95OKnut JohannesenNOR2:12.2
106ORoald AasNOR2:12.9
=1118OBertil EngSWE2:13.1
=113IWim de GraaffNED2:13.1
=118OGerard MaarseNED2:13.1
1418IKees BroekmanNED2:13.12
1510OBohumil JaurisTCH2:13.6
1621IJan KristiansenNOR2:13.7
1726OBengt MalmstenSWE2:14.6
1825IMatti HambergFIN2:14.8
1913OJohnny CronsheyGBR2:15.0
204IPat McNamaraUSA2:15.2
211OTaketsugu AsazakaJPN2:15.4
2211IGunnar StrömSWE2:15.6
2310IYoshitaki HoriJPN2:15.9
2427OHroar ElvenesNOR2:16.0
2513IJohnny WerketUSA2:16.1
2615ILeo TynkkynenFIN2:16.2
=277IGuido CitterioITA2:16.5
=2719OVladimír KolářTCH2:16.5
295IJang YeongKOR2:16.7
3021OGene SandvigUSA2:17.1
312OFranz OffenbergerAUT2:17.3
326IArthur MannsbarthAUT2:17.4
3314IJohn HearnGBR2:17.5
3416ORaymond GillozFRA2:17.7
354OHans KellerGER2:18.1
3623IShinkichi TakemuraJPN2:18.3
3722ODon McDermottUSA2:18.6
3817IKurt EmingerAUT2:19.0
=3926IJaroslav DoubekTCH2:19.2
=3920OYoshiyasu GomiJPN2:19.2
418IRalf OlinCAN2:19.7
=4219IGuido CaroliITA2:20.0
=4212OJo Yun-SikKOR2:20.0
4420IKim Jong-SunKOR2:20.5
4524IJohnny SandsCAN2:20.7
=469OJürg RohrbachSUI2:21.7
=4615OErich KullSUI2:21.7
4822IRemo TomasiITA2:22.2
4927INico OlsthoornNED2:22.6
5025OAlex ConnellGBR2:23.0
=5124OErnst BielAUT2:23.5
=5123OPyeon Chang-NamKOR2:23.5
5314OGordon AudleyCAN2:26.1
AC2IPierre HuylebroeckBELDNFfall