| Event type

1,500 metres, Women

Date27 February 1988 — 17:00
LocationOlympic Oval, Calgary
Participants28 from 13 countries

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.

15IYvonne van GennipNED2:00.68ORGold
24OKarin KaniaGDR2:00.82ORSilver
32OAndrea EhrigGDR2:01.49ORBronze
47OBonnie BlairUSA2:04.02
53OYelena LapugaURS2:04.24
63ISeiko HashimotoJPN2:04.38
=75OGunda KleemannGDR2:04.68
=713IErwina Ryś-FerensPOL2:04.68
911ISong Hwa-SonPRK2:05.25
108ILeslie BaderUSA2:05.53
111ONatalie GrenierCAN2:06.80
124IMarieke StamNED2:07.00
136IKatie ClassUSA2:07.30
142IAriane LoignonCAN2:07.63
158OYelena TumanovaURS2:07.71
169IAnja MischkeFRG2:08.52
1712IZofia TokarczykPOL2:08.54
1813OJane GoldmanUSA2:08.72
1911ONatsue SekiJPN2:08.89
206OEdel Therese HøisethNOR2:09.34
2110OChantal CôtéCAN2:09.62
229OHan Chun-OkPRK2:09.66
2315ICaroline MaheuxCAN2:10.83
2415OKim Young-OkKOR2:11.95
2514IMinna NystedtNOR2:12.40
2614OChoi Hye-SookKOR2:12.96
2712OStéphanie DumontFRA2:13.01
2810IBibija KerlaYUG2:21.69
DNSConstanze Moser-ScandoloGDR