| Event type

1,500 metres, Women

Date21 February 1994 — 14:00
LocationOlympiahall, Hamar
Participants30 from 11 countries
Olympic Record 2:00.68 / Yvonne van Gennip NED / 27 February 1988
StarterHeinrich BeckGER
RefereeLouw HekkemaNED

Prior to the Games, just one woman was expected to win the title in the 1,500 m: Gunda Niemann. The German had dominated women’s allround skating, winning the 1991, 1992 and 1993 World Allround Championships and the 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1994 European Championships. She had won the 1,500 m at most of these competitions, though not at the 1994 Europeans, which were held on the Olympic ice. She had, however, won all World Cup races in the event during the season, and sported a silver medal from Albertville 1992. The women who had beaten her earlier in Hamar was Emese Hunyady, a native Hungarian who had married an Austrian man to escape her communist home country. With Niemann’s confidence damaged after her fall in the Olympic 3,000 m, Hunyady hoped to repeat that win at the Olympics.

Niemann skated in the first pair against the winner of the 3,000 m, Svetlana Bazhanova. She beat the Russian woman this time, but her final time of 2:03.41 was a second slower than she had been at the same rink in January, and 1.6 seconds slower than she had been at the December World Cup. That this time was beatable was quickly proven by Bonnie Blair, already winner of the 500 m. Not known for her 1,500 ms, she approached Niemann’s leading time by 0.03 seconds. Then it was Hunyady’s turn. The former figure skater started out with a 4-tenths advantage, and then slowly expanded her lead to win in 2:02.19. That time would remain unbeaten for the rest of the competition, earning Austria its first Olympic title in speed skating. For Niemann, matters became worse when another skater also beat her time. Gynecology student Svetlana Fedotkina was considered an outsider for a medal, and delivered on that promise. With a very fast start, she built up a half-second gap to Hunyady at the bell. She lost a full second in that last lap, but her 2:02.69 was enough for silver. Later, her Olympic performance became somewhat tainted: in January 1996 she was caught for doping use and suspended for two years.

13OEmese HunyadyAUT2:02.19Gold
29OSvetlana FedotkinaRUS2:02.69Silver
31IGunda NiemannGER2:03.41Bronze
42OBonnie BlairUSA2:03.44
59IAnnamarie ThomasNED2:03.70
61OSvetlana BazhanovaRUS2:03.99
75INataliya PolozkovaRUS2:04.00
85OMihaela DascăluROU2:04.02
94OSeiko HashimotoJPN2:04.98
1012ITonny de JongNED2:05.18
117IAnke BaierGER2:05.97
122IElena BelciITA2:05.99
133IShiho KusunoseJPN2:06.20
144IUlrike AdebergGER2:06.40
156IHiromi YamamotoJPN2:06.54
1614OMaki TabataJPN2:06.79
1711OCatriona Le MayCAN2:07.19
1810IEwa WasilewskaPOL2:07.44
197OEmese AntalAUT2:07.72
2015OMichelle KlineUSA2:08.02
2113OAngela ZuckermanUSA2:08.43
228OCarla ZijlstraNED2:08.49
2311ICerasela HordobețiuROU2:08.50
2413IMichelle MortonCAN2:08.53
2512OOksana RavilovaRUS2:08.65
2615IHeike WarnickeGER2:09.53
276OChantal BaileyUSA2:09.68
288IIngrid LiepaCAN2:09.97
2910OElisabetta PizioITA2:11.02
3014ICheon Hui-JuKOR2:12.14