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4 × 7.5 kilometres Relay, Men

Date11 February 1972 — 09:00-11:04
StatusOlympic
LocationMakomanai Biathlon Site, Sapporo
Participants52 from 13 countries
FormatEight shots for each group of five targets. Penalty loop (200 metres) skied for each missed target.
Venue detailsCourse Length: ?
Height Differential: 44 m
Maximum Climb: 33 m
Shooting 1: Prone at 2.5 km, 150 m range
Shooting 2: Standing at 5.0 km, 150 m range
Total Climbing: 224 m

The defending champion Soviet Union was a heavy favorite for the relay gold after winning all three World Championships from 1969-1971. Norway was expected to be their closest rivals, having won silver behind the Soviets in that period. Finland and East Germany were considered as medal contenders.

The first leg gave some unexpected results. Home favorite Isao Ono hit all his targets and skied fast enough to reach the first exchange 36 seconds ahead of his closest rival, East Germany’s silver medalist from the individual event, Hansjörg Knauthe. In third place was another big surprise, Great Britain’s Malcolm Hirst, only 8 seconds behind East Germany, but closely followed by Sweden and Norway. Finland and the Soviet Union were further behind, as the Soviet’s lead-off man Aleksandr Tikhonov had to ski two penalty loops and was 1:19 behind the leader. On the second leg Japan’s Shozo Sasaki was penalized five penalty loops and dropped from first to 13th and last place at the second exchange. After an excellent race Rinnat Safin advanced the Soviet team from ninth place into a clear lead, over one minute ahead of East Germany. Allen Morse had brought the USA team from seventh to third place, and Giovanni Astegiano moved Italy from 11th to fourth, both passing Sweden and Norway.

On the third leg, Soviet’s Ivan Byakov, in spite of skiing a penalty loop, increased the Soviet lead over East Germany to 1:40, and Sweden’s Torsten Wadman, with the fastest leg time, was only nine seconds behind the East Germans. USA was still doing well in fourth place, but Italy had dropped back to eighth. Finland had started to move and was fifth, over half a minute ahead of Norway. The Soviet anchor man Viktor Mamatov safely brought his team a gold medal, almost three minutes ahead of Finland. Mauri Röppänen had the fastest time on the last leg and advanced from fifth position to a silver medal, 20 seconds ahead of East Germany. Olympic champion Magnar Solberg was too far behind at the exchange, but passed Sweden and USA on the last leg and brought his team up to fourth place.

PosNrTeamNOCTimeMisses
(Extra Shots)
Split (Pos)
11Soviet UnionURS1-51:44.923 (9)Gold
1-1Aleksandr Tikhonov28:54.482 (4)28:54.48 (9)
1-2Rinnat Safin26:48.520 (1)55:43.00 (1)
1-3Ivan Biakov28:15.901 (3)1-23:58.90 (1)
1-4Viktor Mamatov27:46.020 (1)1-51:44.92 (1)
29FinlandFIN1-54:37.253 (13)Silver
9-1Esko Saira28:52.041 (3)28:52.04 (8)
9-2Juhani Suutarinen29:37.332 (6)58:29.37 (7)
9-3Heikki Ikola28:45.790 (3)1-27:15.16 (5)
9-4Mauri Röppänen27:22.090 (1)1-54:37.25 (2)
312East GermanyGDR1-54:57.674 (12)Bronze
12-1Hansjörg Knauthe28:11.720 (1)28:11.72 (2)
12-2Joachim Meischner28:35.860 (3)56:47.58 (2)
12-3Dieter Speer28:50.722 (5)1-25:38.30 (2)
12-4Horst Koschka29:19.372 (3)1-54:57.67 (3)
413NorwayNOR1-56:24.417 (21)
13-1Tor Svendsberget28:23.861 (6)28:23.86 (5)
13-2Kåre Hovda29:43.803 (4)58:07.66 (6)
13-3Ivar Nordkild29:41.972 (5)1-27:49.63 (6)
13-4Magnar Solberg28:34.781 (6)1-56:24.41 (3)
54SwedenSWE1-56:57.406 (18)
4-1Lars-Göran Arwidson28:23.091 (6)28:23.09 (4)
4-2Olle Petrusson29:32.783 (4)57:55.87 (5)
4-3Torsten Wadman27:52.030 (2)1-25:47.90 (3)
4-4Holmfrid Olsson31:09.502 (6)1-56:57.40 (5)
610United StatesUSA1-57:24.321 (14)
10-1Peter Karns28:50.370 (3)28:50.37 (7)
10-2Terry Morse28:43.560 (4)57:33.93 (3)
10-3Dennis Donahue29:01.970 (3)1-26:35.90 (4)
10-4Jay Bowerman30:48.421 (4)1-57:24.32 (6)
75PolandPOL1-58:09.924 (18)
5-1Józef Różak29:36.152 (4)29:36.15 (12)
5-2Józef Stopka29:21.631 (3)58:57.78 (8)
5-3Andrzej Rapacz29:05.750 (6)1-28:03.53 (7)
5-4Aleksander Klima30:06.391 (5)1-58:09.92 (7)
811JapanJPN1-59:09.485 (18)
11-1Isao Ono27:35.730 (5)27:35.73 (1)
11-2Shozo Sasaki33:46.085 (6)1-01:21.81 (13)
11-3Miki Shibuya27:59.800 (2)1-29:21.61 (9)
11-4Kazuo Sasakubo29:47.870 (5)1-59:09.48 (8)
92RomaniaROU1-59:30.615 (17)
2-1Nicolae Veștea28:47.960 (3)28:47.96 (6)
2-2Victor Fontana32:19.634 (6)1-01:07.59 (12)
2-3Ion Țeposu28:47.130 (5)1-29:54.72 (10)
2-4Vilmoș Gheorghe29:35.891 (3)1-59:30.61 (9)
106ItalyITA1-59:47.626 (20)
6-1Willy Bertin29:06.562 (4)29:06.56 (11)
6-2Giovanni Astegiano28:43.420 (5)57:49.98 (4)
6-3Corrado Varesco30:58.591 (6)1-28:48.57 (8)
6-4Lino Jordan30:59.053 (5)1-59:47.62 (10)
117Great BritainGBR2-01:38.845 (16)
7-1Malcolm Hirst28:19.400 (2)28:19.40 (3)
7-2Keith Oliver31:58.853 (6)1-00:18.25 (11)
7-3Jeffrey Stevens30:53.972 (4)1-31:12.22 (12)
7-4Alan Notley30:26.620 (4)2-01:38.84 (11)
123CzechoslovakiaTCH2-03:08.173 (20)
3-1Ladislav Žižka28:59.510 (5)28:59.51 (10)
3-2Pavel Ploc30:38.691 (5)59:38.20 (9)
3-3Ján Húska31:29.790 (4)1-31:07.99 (11)
3-4Arnošt Hájek32:00.182 (6)2-03:08.17 (12)
138FranceFRA2-03:08.904 (19)
8-1René Arpin30:04.711 (5)30:04.71 (13)
8-2Noël Turrel29:34.230 (3)59:38.94 (10)
8-3Daniel Claudon32:05.942 (5)1-31:44.88 (13)
8-4Aimé Gruet-Masson31:24.021 (6)2-03:08.90 (13)