|Date||27 February 1988 — 17:00|
|Location||Olympic Oval, Calgary|
|Participants||28 from 13 countries|
|Olympic Record||2:03.42 WR / Karin Enke GDR / 9 February 1984|
A huge favorite for several gold medals, Karin Kania had more or less disappointed at the Games so far. She had placed third in the 500 m, fourth in the 3,000 m and second in the 1,000 m. Not a long distance skater, the 1,500 m seemed her last chance to win a gold medal in Calgary. Her resume for the 1,500 m was outstanding: as the defending Olympic Champion, she had won all four World Cup races of the season. With her miraculous 1:59.30 from 1986, she was also the only woman to have beaten 2 minutes in the distance. She could expect competition from her teammates, notably Andrea Ehrig and 500 m winner Bonnie Blair. After her surprising win in the 3,000 m, Yvonne van Gennip was also considered for a medal.
Ehrig was the first favorite to go, in the second pair. Her race was stable, with a 1-second drop in lap times at every split, and she finished in 2:01.00, just half-a-second away from her personal best, set in the same as the world record. Kania, up next, got off half a second faster than her closest rival, but lost ground in the next two laps, matching Ehrig’s split at the bell. In her final lap, she recovered noticeably, and finished with 2:00.82, the second best time ever. Next up was Yvonne van Gennip. She held equal pace with Ehrig’s times, before gaining half a second in the second full lap. She a large part of that advantage in the final 400 ms, but 2:00.68 was enough for first place. When Blair stayed well clear of the top three, it was certain that Van Gennip had delivered a second surprise, and that Kania would not win a fourth Olympic title. Both Ehrig and Kania ended their career after the 1988 season. The two of them had dominated women’s skating in the 1980s. Their role would be taken over by their young team mate Gunda Kleemann, who placed seventh in this race.
|Pos||Pair||Skater||NOC||Time||300 m||700 m||1100 m|
|1||5I||Yvonne van Gennip||NED||2:00.68||26.87||57.13||1:28.39||Gold|
|20||6O||Edel Therese Høiseth||NOR||2:09.34||27.48||59.64||1:33.86|