| Event type

3,000 metres, Women

Date11 February 1998 — 15:00
LocationM-Wave, Nagano
Participants31 from 16 countries
Olympic Record 4:11.94 WR / Yvonne van Gennip NED / 23 February 1988
StarterHeinrich BeckGER
RefereeJan MarmstålSWE

The Olympic gold medal in the 3000 m seemed predestined for a German skater. Based on previous results, it would be Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann. She had won the 1997 world title, and held the world record since 1990. She had also won the World Allround Championships six times between 1991 and 1997, winning the 3,000 m on each occasion. In 1992, she had won the Olympic title in this distance, losing it surprisingly in 1994 due to a fall. But Niemann’s compatriot Claudia Pechstein seemed like a serious contender. At the Berlin World Cup, she had beaten Niemann, and in December she had taken Niemann’s World Record, although in the absence of her rival.

The first skater to break the Olympic Record, dating back to 1988, was American Jennifer Rodriguez, a former inline skater with Cuban roots. Her 4:11.64 would eventually land her in 4th place. Her time was next beaten by upcoming German star, Anni Friesinger. The next pair saw Pechstein and Hunyady taking off fast. Hunyady fell behind after a few laps, but Pechstein kept up the pace until she slowed in the final two laps. She finished in 4:08.27.

Pechstein’s last laps left room for Niemann, whose splits were behind Pechstein’s until 2,200 m. But she managed to gain a second advantage in the final two laps, thereby taking her third Olympic gold medal after two titles in 1992. The German women swept the medals, as they had done in 1984, with the difference that back then, all three women had been from East Germany, while in Nagano, Friesinger was from the former West Germany.

115OGunda Niemann-StirnemannGER4:07.29GoldOR
213OClaudia PechsteinGER4:08.47SilverOR
312OAnni FriesingerGER4:09.44BronzeOR
411OJennifer RodriguezUSA4:11.64OR
513IEmese HunyadyAUT4:12.01
615IKirstin HolumUSA4:12.24
79OLyudmila ProkashovaKAZ4:14.23
810IAnnamarie ThomasNED4:14.38
916ICarla ZijlstraNED4:16.43
1016OSvetlana BazhanovaRUS4:16.45
1114IElena BelciITA4:16.62
125ISvetlana VysokovaRUS4:17.70
139ITatyana TrapeznikovaRUS4:17.76
1410OMie UeharaJPN4:17.92
1512IAnette TønsbergNOR4:19.24
1614OTonny de JongNED4:19.54
176IChiharu NozakiJPN4:19.60
1811INoriko MunekataJPN4:20.72
197ICindy OverlandCAN4:20.81
205OLee Gyeong-NamKOR4:21.10
216OSusan MassittiCAN4:21.66
222OCatherine RaneyUSA4:22.55
237OBaek Eun-BiKOR4:24.50
248OMihaela DascăluROU4:26.65
258IIngrid LiepaCAN4:27.99
264OSong LiCHN4:28.99
273OEmese Dörfler-AntalAUT4:33.67
281IIlonda LūseLAT4:33.77
294ISviatlana ChepelnikovaBLR4:36.97
302ISvitlana KonstantynovaUKR4:37.27
313IKenzhesh OrynbayevaKAZ4:42.07