| Event type

1,500 metres, Women

Date14 February 1980 — 10:35
LocationJames C. Sheffield Speed Skating Oval, Lake Placid
Participants31 from 14 countries
Olympic Record 2:16.58 / Galina Stepanskaya URS / 5 February 1976
RefereeGene SandvigUSA

This was the first women’s speed skating event of the 1980 Winter Olympics. There was no clear favorite but the last two World Champions had both won the distance at those tournaments, and Nataliya Petrusyova (1980) and Beth Heiden (1979) were considered to have a slight edge. Heiden started in the first pair, crossing in 2:13.10, an Olympic record and a personal best. But in the third pair, Dutchwoman Ria Visser, the 1979 Dutch all-around champion, finished in 2:12.35 to move into the lead. She skated with Petrusyova, who surprisingly struggled, finishing in 2:14.15. In the fifth pair, Visser’s teammate Annie Borckink was paired with Soviet 70s star Tatyana Barabash, who was no longer considered a challenger in this event. Borckink had been skating in Dutch meets since 1973 and had three times won the 1,000 at the Dutch Championships, but she had never won a distance at an international meet, and her best all-around finish in an international tournament was eighth at the 1977 World Championships. But she started well, although she was behind Visser’s time at 1,100 metres, only to finish very strongly, winning a surprising gold medal by 1.4 seconds with a time of 2:10.95. Borckink skated for one more year but never won another international distance race or tournament. Visser would continue to compete thru 1988, winning the Dutch Championships in 1983-85. The 1-2 finish by the Dutch women was a huge upset. Many years later, Visser would comment that the Dutch women were skating so poorly in 1980 that it was being considered not to enter a women’s team at Lake Placid.

15OAnnie BorckinkNED2:10.95GoldOR
23IRia VisserNED2:12.35SilverOR
38ISabine BeckerGDR2:12.38Bronze
44IBjørg Eva JensenNOR2:12.59
56OSylvia FilipssonSWE2:12.84
611IAndrea MitscherlichGDR2:13.05
71IBeth HeidenUSA2:13.10OR
83ONataliya PetrusyovaURS2:14.15
92OSylvia AlbrechtGDR2:14.27
101OSylvia BurkaCAN2:14.65
1110OBrenda WebsterCAN2:14.73
1211OMary DocterUSA2:14.74
134OSarah DocterUSA2:15.11
147ILisbeth KorsmoNOR2:15.63
158OSijtje van der LendeNED2:16.05
1612IKathy VogtCAN2:16.09
172IErwina Ryś-FerensPOL2:16.29
=185ITatyana BarabashURS2:16.32
=186IVera BryndzeyURS2:16.32
209OAnnette KarlssonSWE2:17.31
217OAnneli RepolaFIN2:17.81
2210ISigrid SmudaFRG2:18.86
239IYuko YaegashiJPN2:19.41
2416IMiyoshi KatoJPN2:19.80
2515IKim Yeong-HuiKOR2:20.23
2612OLee Seong-AeKOR2:20.67
2713OKong MeiyuCHN2:22.48
2813IMandy HorsepoolGBR2:23.05
2915OChen ShuhuaCHN2:29.48
3014IShen GuoqinCHN2:41.99fall
DQ14OKim FerranGBR