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| Event type

20 kilometres, Men

Date 6 February 1976 — 08:30
StatusOlympic
LocationLanglaufstadion, Seefeld
Participants52 from 18 countries
FormatVariable penalty for each missed target. The target had two circles, an inner and an outer. Shots outside the outer circle brought a two-minute penalty. Shots between the circles brought a one-minute penalty.
Venue detailsCourse Length: ?
Height Differential: ?
Maximum Climb: ?
Shooting 1: Prone at 3.6 km, 150 m range
Shooting 2: Standing at 8.5 km, 150 m range
Shooting 3: Prone at 12.5 km, 150 m range
Shooting 4: Standing at 17.4 km, 150 m range
Total Climbing: ?

Favorites for the individual 1976 Olympic biathlon gold medal were the 1975 World Champion Heikki Ikola from Finland, runner-up at the same championships Nikolay Kruglov from the Soviet Union, and his experienced teammate Aleksandr Tikhonov. For a long time it looked like the day for a long awaited individual Olympic gold medal for Tikhonov. He was in the lead after the first shooting round, 15 seconds ahead of Ikola, both with perfect shooting series. At the second round, Tikhonov had a one-minute penalty, but he still increased his lead over Ikola to 26 seconds, Kruglov now moving up to third place, 25 seconds behind the Finn. At the third round of shooting all three had perfect series, and Tikhonov increased his lead on Ikola to 1:02. The Finn now had Kruglov on his heels, only eight seconds behind, and the third Soviet competitor Aleksandr Yelizarov had moved up to fourth, 26 seconds behind Kruglov. The three Soviets were clearly the fastest skiers of the day, and Ikola’s only chance seemed to have a perfect shooting result. As usual, the last shooting round turned out to be decisive. The first of the favorites to arrive was Kruglov, and with only one penalty minute he seemed sure of a medal. Next was Ikola. With a perfect round he could take the lead, but he was penalized two minutes, putting him in danger of missing the medals, now 1:24 behind Kruglov. Next to arrive was the leader Tikhonov, but he totally lost his nerves and was penalized six minutes, dropping down to seventh place, and out of the medal race. Yelizarov had a 2-minute penalty and was still behind Ikola, but now only by 19 seconds. Kruglov easily kept his lead to the finish and won by a comfortable margin. Ikola was able to stay in front of Yelizarov and secure the silver medal, 11 seconds ahead of his opponent. Italy’s Willy Bertin finished strongly and advanced to fourth place at the finish, due to a perfect series at the two last shooting rounds. Tikhonov, having the fastest skiing time of the day, almost two minutes faster than Kruglov, was able to advance from seventh to fifth position from the last round of shots to the finish, but was very disappointed with the race, which for a long time, seemed to be a gold medal performance.

PosNrBiathleteNOCTimePenaltiesSkiing (Pos)
19Nikolay KruglovURS1-14:12.2621-12:12.26 (2)Gold
221Heikki IkolaFIN1-15:54.1021-13:54.10 (8)Silver
349Aleksandr YelizarovURS1-16:05.5731-13:05.57 (3)Bronze
43Willy BertinITA1-16:50.3631-13:50.36 (6)
534Aleksandr TikhonovURS1-17:18.3371-10:18.33 (1)
615Esko SairaFIN1-17:32.8421-15:32.84 (15)
740Lino JordanITA1-17:49.8321-15:49.83 (16)
823Sune AdolfssonSWE1-18:00.5021-16:00.50 (17)
933Tor SvendsbergetNOR1-18:10.1331-15:10.13 (12)
108Lars-Göran ArwidsonSWE1-18:34.3751-13:34.37 (5)
1131Heinrich MehringerFRG1-18:49.1521-16:49.15 (23)1
1236Manfred GeyerGDR1-19:11.3761-13:11.37 (4)
1343Juhani SuutarinenFIN1-19:25.8921-17:25.89 (29)
1429Hansruedi SüssliSUI1-19:53.7331-16:53.73 (25)
1551Karl-Heinz WolfGDR1-20:06.8951-15:06.89 (11)
167Gheorghe VoicuROU1-21:01.5251-16:01.52 (18)
1713Antonín KřížTCH1-21:11.3641-17:11.36 (27)
1810Kjell HovdaNOR1-21:24.4551-16:24.45 (22)
1917Jan SzpunarPOL1-21:27.2041-17:27.20 (30)
2045Svein EngenNOR1-21:27.2471-14:27.24 (9)
2135Alfred EderAUT1-22:42.5281-14:42.52 (10)
2222René ArpinFRA1-22:50.9291-13:50.92 (7)
2328Pierantonio ClementiITA1-23:08.8671-16:08.86 (19)
2425Ladislav ŽižkaTCH1-23:09.0341-19:09.03 (40)
252Albert MächlerSUI1-23:28.6661-17:28.66 (31)
2647Josef NiedermeierFRG1-23:33.6351-18:33.63 (37)
2711Manfred BeerGDR1-23:42.5051-18:42.50 (39)
2819Wojciech TruchanPOL1-24:09.9371-18:02.62 (32)
2946Graeme FergusonGBR1-24:18.0981-16:09.93 (20)
3048Hiroyuki DeguchiJPN1-24:53.8461-18:18.09 (35)
316Gheorghe GârnițăROU1-25:00.7141-20:53.84 (47)
3227Hristo MadzharovBUL1-25:02.6281-17:00.71 (26)2
3350Jean-Claude ViryFRA1-25:09.5171-18:09.51 (33)
341Alois KanamüllerFRG1-25:25.2681-17:25.26 (28)
355Lyle NelsonUSA1-25:27.50101-15:27.50 (14)
3624Malcolm HirstGBR1-25:52.9791-16:52.97 (24)
374Franz-Josef WeberAUT1-26:14.92101-16:14.92 (21)
3826Manabu SuzukiJPN1-26:35.7971-19:35.79 (42)
3912Jeffrey StevensGBR1-27:15.8791-18:15.87 (34)
4038Christian DanuserSUI1-27:16.4371-20:16.43 (44)
4141Kazuo SasakuboJPN1-27:35.3161-21:35.31 (49)
4218Aimé Gruet-MassonFRA1-27:35.8191-18:35.81 (38)
4314Iliya TodorovBUL1-27:57.6071-20:57.60 (48)
4439Josef MalínskýTCH1-28:09.1891-19:09.18 (41)
4542Nicolae CristoloveanuROU1-28:15.5381-20:15.53 (43)
4630Andrzej RapaczPOL1-28:30.82101-18:30.82 (36)
4737Martin HagenUSA1-28:49.2081-20:49.20 (46)
4844Torsten WadmanSWE1-30:20.34151-15:20.34 (13)
4952Klaus FarbmacherAUT1-36:31.07161-20:31.07 (45)
5020Ueng Ming-YihTPE1-42:09.37101-32:09.37 (50)
5116Shen Li-ChienTPE1-58:32.9191-49:32.91 (51)
AC32Peter DascouliasUSA– (–)DNF