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| Event type

15 kilometres, Men

Date10 February 1968
StatusOlympic
LocationAutrans
Participants75 from 25 countries
Venue detailsCourse Length: ?
Height Differential: 214 m
Intermediate 1: 5.0 km
Intermediate 2: 10.0 km
Maximum Climb: 74 m
Total Climbing: 490 m

Harald Grønningen had three Olympic silver medals from 1960 and 1964, placing second behind Eero Mäntyranta in the 1964 15 and 30 km race, and as a member of the 1960 Norwegian relay team, behind Finland, with Mäntyranta on the winning team. The popular Norwegian, nicknamed “Lang-Harald” due to his height of 191 cm, unusual among cross country skiers, could at last claim a gold medal as a member of Norway’s winning relay team at the 1966 World Championships. The 15 km race developed into a fierce duel between the Finnish defending champion and his Norwegian rival Grønningen, a strawberry farmer from Lensvik in Trøndelag. Now aged 33 and starting in his third and last Olympics, Grønningen was wearing start number 5 out of 75 competitors. He chose to start at top speed, and at 4 km he had already overtaken the four skiers starting ahead of him. At 5 km he was in the lead, nine seconds ahead of Mäntyranta with the silver medalist from the 30 km race, Odd Martinsen in third, only half a second behind the Finn. The Olympic Champion from the 30 km race three days earlier, Franco Nones, was totally out of contention in a distant 36th place. Mäntyranta was able to turn the tables at the 10 km checkpoint, taking the lead 10 seconds ahead of Grønningen. Kalevi Laurila had advanced from 5th to 3rd, only 5 seconds behind Grønningen. But the Norwegian veteran fought bravely in the final stages of the race. One and a half kilometers from the finish Mäntyranta was still 7 seconds ahead, but as in the 30 km race he had used most of his strength in the middle part of the race. He finished 1.9 seconds behind his Norwegian rival, and Grønningen could finally claim an individual gold medal. Behind the two rivals there was a close struggle for the bronze medal. The Swede Gunnar Larsson advanced from 8th place at 5 km to 6th place at 10 km, and a strong finish earned him the bronze medal, four seconds ahead of Laurila, who like Mäntyranta faded over the last 5 km. The Soviet skiers had a disappointing day, their best, Valery Tarakanov, finishing in 9th place, 1:10 behind the winner.

PosNrSkierNOCTimeInt 1 (Pos)Int 2 (Pos)
15Harald GrønningenNOR47:54.216:57.1 (1)35:06.5 (2)Gold
229Eero MäntyrantaFIN47:56.117:06.4 (2)34:56.9 (1)Silver
366Gunnar LarssonSWE48:33.717:25.5 (8)35:30.1 (6)Bronze
465Kalevi LaurilaFIN48:37.617:12.3 (5)35:11.8 (3)
512Jan HalvarssonSWE48:39.117:26.0 (9)35:46.9 (8)
641Bjarne AnderssonSWE48:41.117:20.3 (6)35:29.0 (5)
757Pål TyldumNOR48:42.017:12.1 (4)35:17.6 (4)
862Odd MartinsenNOR48:59.317:07.0 (3)35:31.6 (7)
917Valery TarakanovURS49:04.417:47.7 (13)36:18.6 (11)
1054Kalevi OikarainenFIN49:11.117:26.5 (10)35:55.6 (9)
1126Assar RönnlundSWE49:25.317:42.5 (11)36:27.1 (12)
1255Walter DemelFRG49:38.417:48.3 (14)36:09.3 (10)
1314Franco StellaITA49:59.817:50.0 (15)36:46.0 (16)
1472Karel ŠteflTCH50:15.417:50.9 (17)36:39.4 (13)
1547Giulio De FlorianITA50:19.418:09.4 (22)36:53.7 (19)
1648Anatoly AkentyevURS50:19.917:46.8 (12)36:51.6 (17)
1739Reidar HjermstadNOR50:25.717:23.4 (7)36:40.2 (14)
1842Josef HaasSUI50:34.818:29.8 (31)37:12.9 (21)
1974Flury KochSUI50:37.218:01.3 (18)37:04.2 (20)
2038Karl BuhlFRG50:38.118:22.8 (27)37:16.0 (22)
2152Józef RysulaPOL50:38.518:10.3 (23)36:53.4 (18)
2269Vladimir VoronkovURS50:40.717:50.3 (16)36:45.1 (15)
2345Ján FajstavrTCH50:46.518:06.8 (21)37:26.7 (24)
244Roger PiresFRA50:52.618:38.3 (39)37:50.0 (28)
2519Petar PankovBUL50:54.118:28.6 (30)37:54.3 (30)
2628Fyodor SimashovURS51:05.318:04.1 (=19)37:56.5 (31)
2727Václav PeřinaTCH51:06.618:35.0 (35)37:24.1 (23)
2832Victor ArbezFRA51:20.518:43.2 (40)38:13.8 (35)
2933Gerhard GrimmerGDR51:22.118:04.1 (=19)37:47.2 (26)
308Albert GigerSUI51:26.618:28.1 (28)37:48.6 (27)
3153Andreas JancAUT51:29.818:31.1 (32)37:58.0 (32)
3268Franco ManfroiITA51:47.718:31.4 (33)37:59.3 (33)
3358Gert-Dietmar KlauseGDR51:51.618:13.3 (24)37:44.0 (25)
3444Mike GallagherUSA52:02.418:18.8 (26)37:50.5 (29)
3520Konrad HischierSUI52:06.418:37.9 (38)38:24.3 (37)
3622Franco NonesITA52:06.818:35.5 (36)38:10.7 (34)
372Peter ThielGDR52:07.818:33.4 (34)38:39.2 (39)
3871Helmut GerlachFRG52:21.818:14.8 (25)38:20.7 (36)
397Klaus GanterFRG52:30.018:35.9 (37)38:59.0 (43)
409Alojz KerštajnYUG52:31.719:00.1 (47)38:48.7 (41)
4121Mike ElliottUSA52:40.818:28.5 (29)38:42.5 (40)
4267Heinrich WallnerAUT52:53.618:53.4 (43)38:59.6 (44)
4331Janez MlinarYUG52:54.418:49.1 (42)38:49.5 (42)
4459Félix MathieuFRA52:58.818:48.6 (41)38:31.4 (38)
4550Mirko BavčeYUG53:10.719:03.6 (48)39:07.9 (45)
4664Jean JobezFRA53:22.119:24.3 (52)39:23.0 (47)
4735Ernst PühringerAUT53:23.018:58.5 (46)39:25.3 (48)
486Bob GrayUSA53:24.818:56.5 (44)39:38.4 (51)
4946Tibor HoléczyHUN53:35.919:18.5 (50)39:33.1 (50)
5075Tokio SatoJPN53:41.218:56.8 (45)39:22.8 (46)
5115Walter FailerAUT54:12.519:39.4 (54)40:55.1 (55)
5260Gendgeegiin BatmönkhMGL54:21.319:12.0 (49)39:27.0 (49)
5334Akiyoshi MatsuokaJPN54:46.219:43.4 (56)41:10.3 (56)
5430Luvsan-Ayuushiin DashdemberelMGL54:46.419:40.7 (55)40:17.9 (53)
5573Larry DamonUSA55:07.219:24.0 (51)40:14.2 (52)
5676Nils SkulbruCAN55:53.419:34.9 (53)40:49.5 (54)
5751Svend CarlsenDEN56:09.520:34.0 (59)41:17.8 (57)
5843Tom DakinGBR56:49.920:01.4 (57)41:42.2 (58)
5963Peter TancockGBR57:31.120:08.7 (58)41:48.9 (59)
6024Ross MartinAUS58:00.220:37.6 (60)42:30.2 (60)
6156David ReesCAN58:25.921:07.0 (63)43:25.7 (62)
6213Yun Jong-ImKOR58:28.220:56.6 (62)42:49.5 (61)
6337Rolf PettersenCAN58:31.821:25.7 (65)43:57.8 (65)
6436Miklós HollóHUN58:37.220:51.8 (61)43:43.1 (64)
6510Hiroshi OgawaJPN59:55.421:15.7 (64)43:31.5 (63)
6623Kim Chun-GiKOR1-00:04.822:14.3 (68)44:27.5 (66)
6718Apollo LyngeDEN1-00:34.822:00.3 (67)45:15.5 (67)
683Dimitrios AndreadisGRE1-00:52.121:58.1 (66)45:23.0 (68)
691Şeref ÇınarTUR1-04:12.223:29.0 (70)47:44.9 (70)
7061Rızvan ÖzbeyTUR1-05:02.322:49.1 (69)47:33.0 (69)
7125Naci ÖğünTUR1-05:56.423:43.7 (71)48:33.0 (71)
7249Yaşar ÖrenTUR1-09:03.824:17.2 (72)50:34.5 (72)
AC11Hannu TaipaleFIN– (–)– (–)DNF
AC40Kazuo SatoJPN– (–)– (–)DNF
AC70Axel LesserGDR– (–)– (–)DNF
DNS16Vít Fousek, Jr.TCH– (–)– (–)