|Date||19 February 1994 — 14:00-15:00|
|Participants||34 from 12 countries|
|Olympic Record||39.10 WR / Bonnie Blair USA / 22 February 1988|
Everybody expected US skater Bonnie Blair to collect her third consecutive gold medal in the event, and she did just that. Just three weeks before the Olympics, Blair had dominantly won the World Sprint Championships, winning all four distances. She had also taken all but one 500 m World Cup, being defeated just once by Korea’s Yu Seon-Hui. In addition, Blair had held the world record with 39.10 since her Olympic victory in 1988.
In Hamar, Blair came quite close to her own world record, despite that being set at the fast high-altitude rink in Calgary. With 39.25, she won by a large margin. Second was Canada’s Susan Auch, who had been a regular podium occupant since the previous season. Known for her fast 100 ms, she held on long enough to finish in 39.61 and claim the silver. Third place was rather surprisingly taken by 19-year-old Franziska Schenk. The World Junior Champion of 1993 had seen some good World Cup results earlier in the season, and crowned her season with a bronze medal and praise from the winner.
Bonnie Blair’s third consecutive victory in this event made her only the second Winter Olympian to win an individual event three times consecutively, after Sonja Henie in women’s figure skating. The feat would be matched by Claudia Pechstein in the 5,000 metres in 1994-1998-2002.
|8||10I||Edel Therese Høiseth||NOR||40.20||10.91|
|33||2O||Catriona Le May||CAN||59.75||10.67||fall|