| Event type

1,500 metres, Men

Date 6 February 1972 — 10:00
LocationMakomanai Speed Skating Rink, Sapporo
Participants39 from 16 countries
Olympic Record 2:03.4 / Kees Verkerk NED / 16 February 1968
StarterSaburo TakabayashiJPN
RefereeArne KvaalenNOR

Dutch skater Ard Schenk was trying to win all four races in Sapporo, but that had come a cropper in the 500 when he fell in his first few steps, but he was the heavy favorite in this race, having already had won one gold medal in Sapporo, winning the 5,000 two days earlier. Schenk had already set 15 world records in his career, and was World Champion in 1970-71 and European Champion in 1970 and 1972. The 1,500 was probably his best distance – he held the world record of 1:58.7, had won a silver medal at the 1968 Winter Olympics when he was still young, and was by 1972 rarely beaten in the event.

In the sixth pair, Norway’s Roar Grønvold and Sweden’s Göran Claeson moved into the 1-2 spots, finishing in 2:04.26 and 2:05.89 respectively. Grønvold had already won a silver in the 5,000 in Sapporo, and his time would earn him another silver, with Claeson holding on for the bronze. But then the king appeared two pairs later. Schenk started at a moderate pace, but was comfortably ahead at 1,100 metres and finished in 2:02.96 for his second gold medal in Sapporo.

Schenk would eventually win three gold medals in Sapporo, failing only in the 500, matching the feats of Clas Thunberg in 1924, Ivar Ballangrud in 1936, and Hjalmar Andersen in 1952. He turned professional after the 1972 Winter Olympics. In his career, Schenk set 18 world records, won eight major international tournaments, and his distance wins are too numerous to mention. Schenk was awarded the Oscar Mathisen Trophy in 1970, 1971, and 1972. He is considered one of the greatest speed skaters of all-time.

18IArd SchenkNED2:02.96GoldOR
26ORoar GrønvoldNOR2:04.26Silver
36IGöran ClaesonSWE2:05.89Bronze
413OBjørn TveterNOR2:05.94
51IJan BolsNED2:06.58
67IValery LavrushkinURS2:07.16
77ODan CarrollUSA2:07.24
812IKees VerkerkNED2:07.43
93IJohnny HöglinSWE2:08.11
103OKimmo KoskinenFIN2:08.18
1118OSvein-Erik StiansenNOR2:08.63
129IGerd ZimmermannFRG2:08.95
139ODag FornæssNOR2:09.52
142OGary JonlandUSA2:09.55
1512OGöran JohanssonSWE2:09.66
1619IJohan GranathSWE2:10.21
171OJouko SalakkaFIN2:10.22
184IBruno ToniolliITA2:10.24
1918IEddy VerheijenNED2:10.96
208OMutsuhiko MaedaJPN2:11.09
2110OValery MuratovURS2:11.83
2214IKiyomi ItoJPN2:11.96
235OBob HodgesCAN2:12.13
244OColin CoatesAUS2:12.14
2514OBill LaniganUSA2:12.31
2619OKevin SiroisCAN2:13.99
2717OGiancarlo GloderITA2:14.07
2815ISeppo HänninenFIN2:14.52
2910IDavid HamptonGBR2:14.60
3017IClark KingUSA2:14.83
315IOtmar BrauneckerAUT2:14.88
3216OHerbert SchwarzFRG2:15.42
3315ORichard TourneFRA2:16.37
3420OLeo LinkovesiFIN2:16.86
352IJeong Chung-GuKOR2:17.36
3616IAndy BarronCAN2:17.71
3711OJohn BlewittGBR2:18.96
3813ILuvsanlkhagvyn DashnyamMGL2:20.42
3911IJim LynchAUS2:26.69