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| Event type

1,500 metres, Men

Date21 February 1980 — 10:33-12:28
StatusOlympic
LocationJames C. Sheffield Speed Skating Oval, Lake Placid
Participants36 from 16 countries
Olympic Record 1:59.38 / Jan Egil Storholt NOR / 13 February 1976
StarterUNK
RefereeGeorg PetterssonSWE

By the time the 1,500 started, Eric Heiden had won three gold medals and he was a safe bet in the 1,500. The 1,500 was one of his two best distances, with the 1,000. He had not been defeated internationally since the 1977 World All-Arounds, and in January 1980, had broken the world record, posting 1:54.79 in Davos only a month before the Olympics. His biggest competition was expected to come from two Norwegians, Jan Egil Storholt and Kai Arne Stenshjemmet. Storholt had been second at the last three World All-Arounds, to Heiden, and was the 1977 and 1979 European All-Around Champion, but his 1,500 PR was 1:55.18, not far from Heiden’s world record, and the previous world mark, but it had been set at the Kazakh speed factory of Medeo. Stenshjemmet usually had trouble beating Storholt, placing second to him at the 1977 and 1979 Europeans, and third at the 1979 World All-Around, and his 1,500 best was much slower than Storholt’s, at 1:57.50. Storholt started in the first pair and posted 1:57.95 on the slow Lake Placid ice. Nobody in the second or third pairs bettered that time, and it came down to Heiden and Stenshjemmet, skating together in the fourth pair. Heiden set off at a mad pace, posting 24.49 for the first 300 metres and was well ahead. But near the end of the second lap, at about 600 metres, he hit a rut in the ice, and almost fell, having to put down a hand to steady himself. It seemingly cost him up to a second in time, but it mattered little, as he recovered easily and defeated Stenshjemmet by slightly over 1¼ seconds in 1:55.44. Stenshjemmet’s time would be good enough for his second silver medal, adding to one from the 5K. Skating in the next pair, another Norwegian, Terje Andersen, posted 1:56.92 for the bronze medal. Heiden now had four gold medals, tieing him with Lidiya Skoblikova , who in 1964 had won all four women’s speed skating events. He had only the 10K left to conquer.

PosPairSkaterNOCTime
14OEric HeidenUSA1:55.44ORGold
24IKay Arne StenshjemmetNOR1:56.81Silver
35OTerje AndersenNOR1:56.92Bronze
48OAndreas DietelGDR1:57.14
56IYury KondakovURS1:57.36
61IJan Egil StorholtNOR1:57.95OR
72OTomas GustafsonSWE1:58.18
83OVladimir LobanovURS1:59.30
=910OAndreas EhrigGDR1:59.47
=92IYevhen SolunskiyURS1:59.47
119IHilbert van der DuimNED1:59.49
129OHerbert SchwarzFRG1:59.58
1311IBert de JongNED1:59.83
147OPertti NiittyläFIN2:00.01
1518IGaétan BoucherCAN2:00.15
1611OUlf EkstrandSWE2:00.23
175ITom PlantUSA2:00.57
186OCraig KresslerUSA2:00.60
191OMasahiko YamamotoJPN2:01.25
203IMasayuki KawaharaJPN2:01.28
2110IJan JunellSWE2:02.11
227ILee Yeong-HaKOR2:02.37
2314ICraig WebsterCAN2:02.41
2412IYasuhiro ShimizuJPN2:04.54
2515IZhao WeichangCHN2:05.48
2616INa Yun-SuKOR2:06.65
2717OJacques ThibaultCAN2:06.79
2817IMaurizio MarchettoITA2:07.45
2914OGuo ChengjiangCHN2:08.33
3012OLi HuchunCHN2:10.00
3115OTömörbaataryn NyamdavaaMGL2:11.51
3213OMike RichmondAUS2:13.40
3316OGeoff SandysGBR2:15.06
3413IAlan LukeGBR2:17.79
3518ODorjiin TsenddooMGL2:19.30
AC8IYep KramerNEDDNFfall