|Date||12 February 1968 — 9:30|
|Location||L'Anneau de Vitesse, Grenoble|
|Participants||26 from 12 countries|
|Olympic Record||5:14.3 / Lidiya Skoblikova URS / 23 February 1960|
At the recent 1968 World Championship, Dutchwoman Ans Schut had won the distance and finished second all-around to her teammate, Stien Kaiser, who won the all-around. This event was expected to be contested between these two. But despite her recent loss, Kaiser had to be favored. She had also won the 1967 World Championship, winning the 3K en route, and had set the last three world records. The most recent had been set nine days before this event in Davos, avenging her loss to Schut, recording 4:54.6.
Their teammate, Wil Burgmeijer, was in the first pair and broke the Olympic record with 5:05.1 for a mark to shoot at, though it would eventually bring her only fifth. Schut was in the fifth pair and blasted through the laps in 4:56.2, the third fastest time ever. Kaiser was in the 12th pair. She was hampered by rain that had started to fall, quickly dropped off Schut’s pace, and was four seconds behind at 1,000 metres. And she would never close that gap, finishing in 5:01.3, also behind Kaija Mustonen, who had finished in 5:01.0 in the seventh pair. In the end that was the podium with Schut getting gold, Mustonen silver, and Kaiser bronze.
Schut had been a top distance skater but she had often finished second at 3,000, usually to Kaiser. But in coming years, she would win the distance frequently, at the 1969 and 1970 World Championships and the 1970 European Championships. Kaiser had a difficult Grenoble Olympics, winning disappointing bronze medals in the 1,500 and 3,000, but she returned in 1972 at Sapporo and win gold in the 3,000.
|Pos||Pair||Skater||NOC||Time||200 m||600 m||1000 m||1400 m||1800 m||2200 m||2600 m|