Thursday, February 12, 1998
Medallists all break world record; Canadians well back
Sondral was timed in 1:47.87, breaking Ritsma's mark of 1:48.88 at a World Cup meet in the Netherlands in December. Sondral also shattered the Olympic record, 1:51.29, by compatriot Johann Olav Koss at the 1994 Winter Games. Dozens of Norwegian fans in the packed M-Wave crowd shouted their approval.
Sondral, 26, had settled for silver in barely missing gold at the 1992 Winter Games. He was fourth, missing bronze by a fraction of a second, at the 1994 Winter Games when he was obscured by Koss's shadow.
"This was probably my last chance to win a gold medal at the Olympics so I am very happy," said Sondral, who had a history of falling in big races.
Postma was timed in 1:48.13 and Ritsma in 1:48.52.
Kevin Overland of Kitchener, Ont., finished 20th in 1:52.07. Steven Elm of Red Deer, Alta., was 25th (1:52.70).
Kevin Marshall and Neal Marshall, brothers from Coquitlam, B.C., were 26th (1:52.77) and 30th (1:52.93), respectively.
Ritsma blamed Overland for contributing to his failure to win gold by not pushing him.
"I had to do it alone," he said of his pairing with Overland. "Kevin Overland was there on the first lap but I never saw him again."
Neal Marshall was seventh in the 1,500 at the 1994 Winter Games and was considered as recently as last autumn to be a title contender for these Games after finishing second to Ritsma in the World Cup standings the last two years.
However, Marshall, 28, has been suffering from exercise-induced asthma. He's tried everything -- wearing a mask to warm air before he breathes, acupuncture, new drugs, a special diet. He was fifth at the Canadian Olympic trials and only got into the Olympic 1,500 because teammate Jeremy Wotherspoon opted to concentrate on the 500 and 1,000, creating a spot for Marshall.
Marshall faded noticeably in the last 200 metres.
"It was very disappointing," he said. "Thirtieth is pathetic.
"The first half was OK, but it's a 1,500-metre race, not a 700."
As is the case with many other athletes, he's contracted a flu.
"It feels terrible and my asthma is aggravated by it a lot," he said. "It seems like the story of my year."
It was too much of a handicap when racing speedsters such as Sondral, Postma and Ritsma.
"It's still great to be here, but you don't come with that goal only. You want to do the best you can and it's very disappointing when you don't come close to your best, especially since I feel as if I was given a second chance to be here."
Overland, 23, won bronze in the 500 Tuesday and races his specialty, the 1,000, Sunday.
"I expected to place higher than that," Overland said of his 20th-best 1,500 time. "But the 1,500 is a bit of a question mark for me and I really didn't know how I'd do in it.
"When it was time to dig deep, I didn't have the gas," he said. "It's one of those things that's hard to predict.
"It's hard to train for sprints then have to race a 1,500-metre. But from a physiological standpoint, it's good training for the 1,000. I have time to recover."
Canadians rarely win Olympic 1,500 medals. Only one, Gaetan Boucher in 1984, owns gold. The only other medals in the event were won in 1932 when Alex Hurd took silver and William Logan earned bronze.
NAGANO, Japan (AP) -- Final results Thursday from the men's 1,500 meter speedskating medal event at the Winter Olympics.
1, Adne Sondral, Norway, 1:47.87.
2, Ids Postma, Netherlands, 1:48.13.
3, Rintje Ritsma, Netherlands, 1:48.52.
4, Jan Bos, Netherlands, 1:49.75.
5, KC Boutiette, Tacoma, Wash., 1:50.04.
6, Martin Hersman, Netherlands, 1:50.31.
7, Hiroyuki Noake, Japan, 1:50.49.
8, Toru Aoyanagi, Japan, 1:50.68.
9, Christian Breuer, Germany, 1:50.96.
10, Andrei Anufriyenko, Russia, 1:50.99.
11, Vadim Sayutin, Russia, 1:51.31.
12, Choi Jae-bong, South Korea, 1:51.47.
13, Peter Adeberg, Germany, 1:51.50.
14, Dmitri Shepel, Russia, 1:51.64.
15, Chun Joo-hyun, South Korea, 1:51.65.
16, Yusuke Imai, Japan, 1:51.70.
17, Bart Veldkamp, Belgium, 1:51.73.
18, Marnix Ten Kortenaar, Austria, 1:51.94.
19, Sergey Tsybenko, Kazakstan, 1:52.03.
20, Kevin Overland, Canada, 1:52.07.
21, Keiji Shirahata, Japan, 1:52.23.
22, Alexander Kibalko, Russia, 1:52.27.
23, Davide Carta, Italy, 1:52.44.
24, Ermanno Ioriatti, Italy, 1:52.45.
25, Steven Elm, Canada, 1:52.70.
26, Kevin Marshall, Canada, 1:52.77.
27, Radik Bikchentayev, Kazakstan, 1:52.87.
28, Steinar Johansen, Norway, 1:52.88.
29, Brigt Rykkje, Norway, 1:52.91.
30, Neal Marshall, Canada, 1:52.93.
31, Casey FitzRandolph, Madison, Wis., 1:53.26.
32, Cory Carpenter, Brookfield, Wis., 1:53.50.
33, Frank Dittrich, Germany, 1:53.64.
34, Pawel Zygmunt, Poland, 1:53.73.
35, David Tamburrino, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., 1:54.19.
36, Wan Chunbo, China, 1:54.64.
37, Cedric Kuentz, France, 1:54.78.
38, Rene Taubenrauch, Germany, 1:54.91.
39, Jung Jin-euk, South Korea, 1:55.02.
40, Andrew Nicholson, New Zealand, 1:55.06.
41, Sergey Kaznacheyev, Kazakstan, 1:55.22.
42, Zsolt Balo, Hungary, 1:55.52.
43, Feng Qingbo, China, 1:56.45.
44, Dezideriu Horvath, Romania, 1:57.35.
45, Remi Hereide, Norway, DNS.