A real sprinter, Erhard Keller's career started when dedicated sprint competitions were only just springing up, so the number of titles available to him was limited. Keller – who was called the “Flying Dentist” – nonetheless took full advantage of these opportunities, winning the Olympic 500 m twice in a row, in 1968 and 1972, becoming only the second repeat winner after Yevgeny Grishin. Between 1968 and 1972, Keller also bettered the 500 m world record four times, each time at his home rink in the Bavarian town of Inzell. One of these records was set in March 1972, in the same competition he also lowered the 1,000 m and sprint combination world record. The first World Sprint Championships (although that status was awarded retro-actively) were held in 1970, and Keller placed sixth. In 1971 he improved to first place, winning the second 500 m.
Following the Sapporo Olympics, Keller turned professional with the ISSL, but was bested by Hasse Börjes in the championship races. He retired from international competition before the pro league folded, having completed his dentist studies. Keller would continue to race nationally, and he would win his fourth sprint title (after 1970-72) as late as 1977. Besides his dental practice, Keller also appeared on television as a presenter, and acted as a color commentator for the Olympic speed skating competitions on (West) German television for many years. In 2011 he was inducted into the German Sports Hall of Fame.
Personal Bests: 500 – 38.0 (1972); 1000 – 1:18.5 (1972); 1500 – 2:05.5 (1967); 5000 – 8:08.0 (1967); 10000 – 17:20.6 (1966).
Athlete Olympic Results Content
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