Johan Granath of Sweden won the Men's World Speed Skating Sprint in West Berlin on Sunday (7 March).
GV Skaters holding flags on ice
GV PAN Flags
SV Spectators at rink side
GV First race starts with Johan Granath (Sweden) winning event, as crowd look on (3 shots)
GV Second race starts and Legh Poulos (USA) winning event as crowd look on (3 shots)
GV Third race starts with Van Holden (Holland) winning as crowd look on (4 shots)
Initials CL/1655 CL/1713
SPORT: ICE SKATING
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Johan Granath of Sweden won the Men's World Speed Skating Sprint in West Berlin on Sunday (7 March).
Granath clinched the title in a dramatic final of the 1000 metres event after slipping to third place. The champion appeared then to have little hope of winning.
But the new leader, Jos Valentijn, of the Netherlands, saw his chances of taking the title crash when he was disqualified after three false starts in the 1000 metres.
Granath clocked the fastest times over the 200 and 600 metres.
The two United States skaters, Dan Immerfall and Peter Mueller, took the silver and bronze medals respectively.
Granath showed the true form of a world champion as he sped around a track that was far from perfect. In fact, the competition had to be held up for nearly three hours because the ice became too soft under the warm midday sun.
SYNOPSIS: The World Speed Skating Championships have begun in West Berlin. The top speed skaters arrived from all over the world to take part in the Championships. A large crowd turned out to see the events.
And Johan Granath of Sweden showed them the true form and style of a champion. Granath was the leader of the table at the halfway mark of the Men's World Speed Skating Sprint event but later slipped to third place. But the leader at that stage -- Jos Valentijn of the Netherlands -- was later disqualified. Granath used skill like this to fight back -- and eventually win.
The skaters from the United States of America managed to take second and third place in the overall positions. But this U.S. skater -- Legh Poulos -- failed to even gain a place in the first ten overall positions. However, he showed all the courage of a winner as he took first place in this heat.
And here is the skater who took the fastest time for the track -- Van Helden of the Netherlands. The Dutchman virtually flew around the track which was far from perfect. The competition had to be held up for more than three hours because the ice became too soft under the unusually warm midday sun. Many of the skaters travelled so fast that they actually appeared to be water skiing. But although Helden scored the fastest time for the track he failed to gain a position in the overall placings.