Tomas Gustafson

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Sven Tomas Gustafson (born 28 December 1959) is a retired speed skater, and one of the most successful distance skaters of the 1980s. He was born in Katrineholm, Sweden.

Early career

At Grenoble, France, in 1979, he won the World Junior Championships title, which suggested that a glorious future could be ahead of him. One year later, at the European Championships of seniors, he finished 4th, a remarkable feat for a 20 year old. One month after that, he participated in the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, New York, with a 7th place on the 1500 m as his best performance. In that same month, he defended his Junior World title with ease.

1982 to Sarajevo leadup

In 1982, he became allround European Champion in Oslo, where he set the 10000 m world record. This has turned out to be the last outdoor World record for men on a lowland track so far. Because of this outstanding performance, he got awarded the Oscar Mathisen Award, an award for the best skating performance in the past season. One year later, on the same Norwegian ice, he won silver at the World Allround Championships, finishing second behind Rolf Falk-Larssen. Gustafson had the best allround point-sum (samalog), but Falk-Larssen won by the rule that a skater winning three distances, and merely having finished the fourth, is automatically pronounced the champion. This caused a renewed debate about the three-distance-wins rule which was subsequently abolished; from 1984 onwards, the champion was to be the skater...
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