| Event type

10,000 metres, Men

Date 7 February 1972 — 9:00
LocationMakomanai Speed Skating Rink, Sapporo
Participants24 from 14 countries
Olympic Record 15:23.6 / Johnny Höglin SWE / 17 February 1968
StarterSaburo TakabayashiJPN
RefereeArne KvaalenNOR

The favorite was Dutch skater Ard Schenk. He was World Champion in 1970-71 and European Champion in 1970 and 1972 and had already set 15 world records in his career. Schenk was trying to win all four races in Sapporo, but fell in his first few steps in the 500, finishing only 34th. But Schenk had already won two gold medals in Sapporo, the 1,500 and 5,000, when the 10K started, and he was the world record holder, having set the two most recent global marks, with his 14:55.9 at Inzell in March 1971 the current record.

But Schenk would have some work to do. In the second pair, Norway’s Sten Stensen finished in 15:07.08, respectable time on the Sapporo rink. The Netherlands’ Kees Verkerk, in the fourth pair, bettered that with 15:04.70. Schenk started in the 12th pair. He started out quickly, moving ahead of pace from the start, and by 8,400 metres was five seconds better than Verkerk and Stensen. He slowed slightly coming home, but finished in 15:01.35 for his third gold medal, matching the feats of Clas Thunberg in 1924, Ivar Ballangrud in 1936, and Hjalmar Andersen in 1952.

Two weeks later, Schenk would win the 1972 World Championships, sweeping all four events, as he tried to do in Sapporo, the first person since Oscar Mathisen at the 1912 World Championships to pull off that feat. In his career, Schenk set 18 world records, won eight major international tournaments, and his distance titles are too numerous to mention. Schenk was awarded the Oscar Mathisen Trophy in 1970, 1971, and 1972, and is considered one of the greatest speed skaters of all-time.

112OArd SchenkNED15:01.35GoldOR
24IKees VerkerkNED15:04.70SilverOR
32OSten StensenNOR15:07.08BronzeOR
411OJan BolsNED15:17.99
51OValery LavrushkinURS15:20.08OR
62IGöran ClaesonSWE15:30.19
75IKimmo KoskinenFIN15:38.87
86OGerd ZimmermannFRG15:43.92
96IDan CarrollUSA15:44.41
107OKiyomi ItoJPN15:48.17
1110IPer Willy GuttormsenNOR15:48.71
125OOsamu NaitoJPN15:52.93
1311IDag FornæssNOR15:53.33
141IKevin SiroisCAN15:58.61
1512IÖrjan SandlerSWE16:04.90
163OBruno ToniolliITA16:14.52
177IGiancarlo GloderITA16:21.42
184OColin CoatesAUS16:29.94
198IJouko SalakkaFIN16:35.64
203IDavid HamptonGBR16:39.01
219OClark KingUSA16:39.82
228ORichard TourneFRA16:48.70
2310OJohn BlewittGBR16:51.50
249ILuvsansharavyn TsendMGL17:15.34