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| Event type

10,000 metres, Men

Date31 January 1956 — 10:00-15:15
StatusOlympic
LocationPista di Misurina, Misurina
Participants32 from 15 countries
Olympic Record 16:45.8 / Hjalmar Andersen NOR / 19 February 1952
StarterErnst von ArxSUI
StarterGianni CantoniITA
RefereeNino FresiaITA

The favorite was Sweden’s Sigge Ericsson, the 1955 World and European Champion, who had won the 10,000 at both meets. The defending champion and world record holder was Norway’s Hjalmar Andersen, and he had won the distance most recently at the 1954 Europeans, but he was no longer the dominant skater he had been from 1950-52, having briefly retired in 1952-53. Another favorite was Soviet Oleg Goncharenko, runner-up at the 1954 and 1955 World Championships in all-around, who had won the 10,000 at the 1954 Worlds. Also to be considered was Norway’s Knut Johannesen, second at the distance at the 1955 World Championships.

Goncharenko was the first contender up, in the third pair, and he surprised everybody by breaking Andersen’s Olympic record with a time of 16:42.3. Johannesen was in the seventh pair, and went even faster, finishing in 16:36.9, after having been below world record pace for much of the race. Ericsson, who had been injured earlier in the season in a football match and had only recently recovered, was up three pairs later and set a very fast pace, even threatening Andersen’s world record of 16:32.6. At 8,000 metres, he was almost four seconds faster than Johannesen. He could not hold that pace, and slowed gradually in the final 2K, but he held on to win the gold medal by a full second, in 16:35.9. Hjalmar Andersen was in one of the late pairs and placed sixth in 16:52.6, despite having been ahead of Ericsson’s pace for the early part of the race.

This was the only 1956 speed skating event not won by a Soviet skater, who were making their Olympic débuts. For Ericsson this was the peak of his career and he would only compete internationally for one more year. Johannesen, however, had a long career ahead of him. He won the 1957 and 1964 World Championships in all-around and the European Championships in 1959-60, and was always formidable at the longer distances. In 1960 at Squaw Valley he would win the gold medal in this event, finishing the race in 15:46.6, finally breaking Andersen’s world record, set in 1952, and by a full 46 seconds.

PosPairSkaterNOCTime
110ISigvard EricssonSWE16:35.9ORGold
27OKnut JohannesenNOR16:36.9ORSilver
33OOleg GoncharenkoURS16:42.3ORBronze1
48OSverre HaugliNOR16:48.7
51IKees BroekmanNED16:51.2
614IHjalmar AndersenNOR16:52.62
79OBoris YakimovURS16:59.7
814OOlle DahlbergSWE17:01.3
94IBoris TsybinURS17:03.4
106IHelmut KuhnertGER17:04.6
115IJohnny CronsheyGBR17:05.63
122IJuhani JärvinenFIN17:05.9
1316OSven AnderssonSWE17:13.5
145OVladimír KolářTCH17:16.94
156OGunnar StrömSWE17:17.0
1616IVladimir ShilykovskyURS17:17.6
1715OKauko SalomaaFIN17:19.05
1813OWim de GraaffNED17:21.66
1915IKnut TangenNOR17:22.3
2011OJohn HearnGBR17:27.67
2111IHans KellerGER17:27.7
2210OTaketsugu AsazakaJPN17:35.38
234OYoshiyasu GomiJPN17:35.99
2413IToivo SalonenFIN17:37.6
257IEgbert van 't OeverNED17:37.710
269IBohumil JaurisTCH17:38.4
=278IColin HickeyAUS17:45.6
=271OPat McNamaraUSA17:45.611
2912IArthur MannsbarthAUT17:47.812
302OKim Jong-SunKOR17:52.6
313IRalf OlinCAN17:59.2
3212OCarlo CalzàITA18:32.8
DNS7IRaymond GillozFRA