| Event type

10,000 metres, Men

Date 7 February 1964 — 17:00
LocationEisschnellaufbahn im Olympiaeisstadion, Innsbruck
Participants33 from 19 countries
Olympic Record 15:46.6 WR / Knut Johannesen NOR / 27 February 1960
StarterGustav SlanecAUT
RefereeSven LåftmanSWE

The favorite was Sweden’s Jonny Nilsson. In February 1963, he had broken the supposedly unbreakable 15:46.6 world record of Knut Johannesen, set in winning the 1960 Winter Olympics gold medal. Johannesen was still formidable, having won the distance at the recent 1964 European Championships, and at the 1962 Europeans. But Nilsson had won the 10K at the 1962 and 1963 World Championships, and the 1963 European Championships. Nilsson was up in the first pair and he decided things early, posting 15:50.1, which would bring him the gold medal. When Johannesen, in the sixth pair, finishing in only 16:06.3, the battle for the gold appeared over. A few pairs later, Norwegian Fred Anton Maier, who had won a bronze medal two days before in the 5,000, came through with 16:06.0 which won him the silver medal, and pushed Johannesen back to the bronze. The first few pairs were contested without wind, but the wind was strong at the end of the event. The event was not without controversy. After Nilsson had skated, the Swedish referee, Sven Låftman, allowed ice preparation after each pair, but the machine used left the ice in very poor condition. The Norwegians complained about this but the Swedes said that Låftman was simply following the rules.

Nilsson would go on to win 10K races for several years, taking the distance at the 1965 European and World Championships, and the 1966 Europeans. He would set one more world record, but this one at 5,000 metres in 1965. Maier would repeat his silver medal in 1968 at Grenoble, and he would also win the distance in 1968 at the European and World Championships. But from 1966-68 he would also set the next four world records for the 10,000 m. Johannesen would win the 1964 World Championships a few weeks later, also winning the 5 and 10K at that meet, and he then retired. But his career had been a memorable one. At three Olympics he won five medals, two gold, two silver, and one bronze. He was all-around champion at the 1957 and 1964 World and the 1959-60 Europeans. A distance specialist, he won the 5,000 and 10,000 distances 11 times each at World and European Championships.

11IJonny NilssonSWE15:50.1Gold
215OFred Anton MaierNOR16:06.0Silver
36IKnut JohannesenNOR16:06.3Bronze
44IRudi LiebrechtsNED16:08.6
55IAnts AntsonURS16:08.7
610IViktor KosichkinURS16:19.3
72IGerd ZimmermannGER16:22.5
83ITerry MalkinGBR16:35.2
94OKurt StilleDEN16:38.3
1016IIvar NilssonSWE16:40.3
118OHermann StrutzAUT16:42.6
1215IIgor OstashovURS16:45.5
1314IPer Ivar MoeNOR16:47.1
145OJouko LaunonenFIN16:49.8
153ORalf OlinCAN16:53.3
1610OKees VerkerkNED16:53.4
1711IÖrjan SandlerSWE16:56.9
187IRenato De RivaITA16:57.5
199IGünter TraubGER16:58.4
2016OJuhani JärvinenFIN17:05.0
2117OJürgen TraubGER17:08.9
2212OToyofumi ArugaJPN17:09.9
2312IKim Choon-BongPRK17:10.8
249OSatoshi ShinpoJPN17:11.3
252OLuvsansharavyn TsendMGL17:12.41
2613IKalervo HietalaFIN17:12.9
276OAndré KouprianoffFRA17:17.4
2813OTony BullenGBR17:19.8
291ORuedi UsterSUI17:23.4
307OWayne LeBombardUSA17:30.6
3114OChoi Yeong-BaeKOR17:31.3
3217IYoshihiro KawanoJPN17:39.0
338IGyörgy IvánkaiHUN17:47.3