Norwegian speed skater Jan Egil Storhold celebrated his 27th birthday on Friday (Feb 13) by winning the Olympic gold medal in the 1,500 metres event in Innsbruck.
GV Van Helden and Carroll (4 shots)
MS Van Helden waves to crowd
MS wind measurer
GV Storholt and Kondakov (6 shots) zoom in to Norwegian supporters
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Background: Norwegian speed skater Jan Egil Storhold celebrated his 27th birthday on Friday (Feb 13) by winning the Olympic gold medal in the 1,500 metres event in Innsbruck.
SYNOPSIS: The second pair to go, Hans van Helden of Holland and Dan Carroll of the United States, were both fast. Van Helden finished first, although the skaters are racing primarily against the clock, and his time of just over two minutes was good enough to win him the bronze medal.
Carroll finished fifth in the Final table.
The early contestants were favoured, because a troublesome wind blew up in the later stages of the event.
By far the most exciting pairing was between Storhold and the Soviet skater, Yuri Kondakov. Kondakov was away fastest, and led by 28/100ths of a second after 300 metres. But the long-legged Norwegian, in the red outfit, gradually got into his stride and he was ahead after 700 metres. In the make-or-break final lap, Storholt powered his way home in a time of 1:59.38 to take the gold medal. Kondakov took the silver medal, and he was the only other skater to break 2 minutes, just over half a second behind.
The Norwegian supporters were justifiably excited, for it was Norway's second speed skating gold medal, following Sten Stensen's 5,000 metres triumph two days earlier.