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| Event type

4 × 10 kilometres Relay, Men

Date14 February 1968
StatusOlympic
LocationAutrans
Participants60 from 15 countries
Venue detailsCourse Length: ?
Height Differential: 174 m
Maximum Climb: 65 m
Total Climbing: 420 m

Norway had never before won an Olympic gold medal in the relay event, in spite of been able to claim seven individual Olympic gold medals in the cross country events before the 1968 relay, but this time they were favored among the experts. They had won the 1966 World Championships decisively, mostly thanks to their opening-leg-man, Odd Martinsen, nicknamed “Stafett-Martin” for his ability to keep high speed and build up a gap to his competitors. In Oslo in 1966 he had built up a decisive lead on the opening leg of 1:08. On a sunny day in Autrans with blistering ski conditions Martinsen did it again. He reached the first exchange 40 seconds ahead of Sweden and Soviet, and leaving co-favorites Finland over one minute behind. The other three skiers on the Norwegian team widened the gap, all having the fastest time on their legs, and the victory margin to runner-up Sweden was 1:40. The struggle for the other medals was most interesting to watch. Sweden and Soviet Union stayed together for the first two legs, leaving Finland over a minute behind. On the third leg, Sweden’s Gunnar Larsson left the Soviet Union’s Valery Tarakanov 40 seconds behind, and Kalevi Laurila had brought Finland into the fight for the bronze medal, reaching the exchange only 26 seconds behind Tarakanov. Assar Rönnlund – who later that year married double gold medalist Toini Gustafsson - easily secured the silver medal for Sweden with his anchor leg. Eero Mäntyranta caught the Soviet Union’s Vyacheslav Vedenin just before the finishing line and outsprinted his rival by 0.5 seconds in the fight for the bronze medal.

PosNrTeamNOCTimeSplit (Pos)
11NorwayNOR2-08:33.5Gold
1-1Odd Martinsen31:57.331:57.3 (1)
1-2Pål Tyldum32:13.81-04:11.1 (1)
1-3Harald Grønningen32:05.21-36:16.3 (1)
1-4Ole Ellefsæter32:17.22-08:33.5 (1)
24SwedenSWE2-10:13.2Silver
4-1Jan Halvarsson32:37.032:37.0 (2)
4-2Bjarne Andersson32:26.41-05:03.4 (2)
4-3Gunnar Larsson32:24.41-37:27.8 (2)
4-4Assar Rönnlund32:45.42-10:13.2 (2)
32FinlandFIN2-10:56.7Bronze
2-1Kalevi Oikarainen33:00.733:00.7 (4)
2-2Hannu Taipale33:16.01-06:16.7 (4)
2-3Kalevi Laurila32:16.31-38:33.0 (4)
2-4Eero Mäntyranta32:23.72-10:56.7 (3)
45Soviet UnionURS2-10:57.2
5-1Vladimir Voronkov32:38.432:38.4 (3)
5-2Anatoly Akentyev32:32.51-05:10.9 (3)
5-3Valery Tarakanov32:56.41-38:07.3 (3)
5-4Vyacheslav Vedenin32:49.92-10:57.2 (4)
56SwitzerlandSUI2-15:32.4
6-1Konrad Hischier34:27.134:27.1 (10)
6-2Josef Haas33:02.21-07:29.3 (5)
6-3Flury Koch33:45.91-41:15.2 (5)
6-4Alois Kälin34:17.22-15:32.4 (5)
63ItalyITA2-16:32.2
3-1Giulio De Florian34:58.434:58.4 (12)
3-2Franco Nones33:55.61-08:54.0 (10)
3-3Palmiro Serafini34:09.91-43:03.9 (6)
3-4Aldo Stella33:28.32-16:32.2 (6)
78East GermanyGDR2-19:22.8
8-1Gerhard Grimmer33:52.133:52.1 (7)
8-2Axel Lesser34:00.31-07:52.4 (6)
8-3Peter Thiel36:46.51-44:38.9 (10)
8-4Gert-Dietmar Klause34:43.92-19:22.8 (7)
89West GermanyFRG2-19:37.6
9-1Helmut Gerlach34:53.534:53.5 (11)
9-2Walter Demel33:42.21-08:35.7 (8)
9-3Herbert Steinbeißer35:27.11-44:02.8 (8)
9-4Karl Buhl35:34.82-19:37.6 (8)
914CzechoslovakiaTCH2-19:51.3
14-1Ján Fajstavr34:23.434:23.4 (9)
14-2Vít Fousek, Jr.36:01.01-10:24.4 (12)
14-3Václav Peřina35:12.01-45:36.4 (11)
14-4Karel Štefl34:14.92-19:51.3 (9)
1010JapanJPN2-20:54.8
10-1Tokio Sato33:38.433:38.4 (5)
10-2Sotoo Okushiba35:14.41-08:52.8 (9)
10-3Kazuo Sato35:04.51-43:57.3 (7)
10-4Akiyoshi Matsuoka36:57.52-20:54.8 (10)
117FranceFRA2-21:23.0
7-1Félix Mathieu34:17.934:17.9 (8)
7-2Victor Arbez34:05.81-08:23.7 (7)
7-3Philippe Baradel37:36.31-46:00.0 (12)
7-4Roger Pires35:23.02-21:23.0 (11)
1211United StatesUSA2-21:30.4
11-1Mike Gallagher33:45.033:45.0 (6)
11-2Mike Elliott35:09.71-08:54.7 (11)
11-3Bob Gray35:32.61-44:27.3 (9)
11-4John Bower37:03.12-21:30.4 (12)
1315AustriaAUT2-22:29.4
15-1Heinrich Wallner35:42.235:42.2 (13)
15-2Franz Vetter35:02.61-10:44.8 (13)
15-3Ernst Pühringer36:25.21-47:10.0 (13)
15-4Andreas Janc35:19.42-22:29.4 (13)
1412CanadaCAN2-29:12.7
12-1Nils Skulbru37:34.537:34.5 (14)
12-2Rolf Pettersen37:56.21-15:30.7 (14)
12-3Esko Karu38:29.41-54:00.1 (14)
12-4David Rees35:12.62-29:12.7 (14)
1513TurkeyTUR3-01:52.1
13-1Rızvan Özbey42:09.142:09.1 (15)
13-2Yaşar Ören45:36.01-27:45.1 (15)
13-3Şeref Çınar48:12.22-15:57.3 (15)
13-4Naci Öğün45:54.83-01:52.1 (15)