| Event type

1,500 metres Freestyle, Men

Date3 – 4 September 1972
LocationSchwimmhalle, Olympiapark, München
Participants43 from 28 countries

Mike Burton was the defending champion but his teammate, Rick DeMont, had defeated him at the US Trials in Chicago and set a world record of 15:52.91. DeMont qualified for the final on the morning of 3 September, but then came news that he was disqualified after testing positive for a banned substance that had been found from his urine test after the 400 metre freestyle, in which he seemingly won gold. This allowed Mexican Guillermo García to advance to the final of the 1,500, although had originally place ninth in the heats. In the final Burton went out fast and took the lead on the first lap, but Australia’s Graham Windeatt stayed close and took the lead back at 800 metres, increasing it to 1½ bodylengths by 1,000 metres. His pace was almost suicidal as at 900 metres he was six seconds ahead of DeMont’s world record pace, allowing Burton to gradually cut into Windeatt’s lead, pulling ahead at 1,300 metres, and increasing the lead to four full bodylengths at the finish, six seconds behind. American Doug Northway came in well back for the bronze medal. García finished last in the final. Burton finished in 15:52.58 to narrowly better DeMont’s world record.

1Mike BurtonUSA16:09.56 (1 h3)15:52.58 (1)Gold
2Graham WindeattAUS15:59.63 (1 h2)15:58.48 (2)Silver
3Doug NorthwayUSA16:15.30 (1 h4)16:09.25 (3)Bronze
4Bengt GingsjöSWE16:26.67 (2 h5)16:16.01 (4)
5Graham WhiteAUS16:19.63 (2 h3)16:17.22 (5)
6Mark TreffersNZL16:23.86 (2 h4)16:18.84 (6)
7Brad CooperAUS16:11.41 (1 h5)16:30.49 (7)
8Guillermo GarcíaMEX16:29.48 (2 h2)16:36.03 (8)
9Anders BellbringSWE16:33.27 (3 h2)
10Hans FaßnachtFRG16:34.63 (1 h1)
11Ton van KloosterNED16:34.77 (1 h6)
12Axel FreudenbergGDR16:37.19 (2 h6)
13Dusan GrozajFRG16:44.59 (3 h4)
14Dean BuckboroughCAN16:52.50 (4 h2)
15Brian BrinkleyGBR16:54.39 (3 h3)
16Klaus DockhornGDR16:55.30 (3 h5)
17Peter RosenkranzFRG16:58.26 (2 h1)
18Alberto GarcíaMEX17:05.68 (4 h3)
19François DeleyBEL17:06.09 (3 h1)
20Gerardo VeraVEN17:10.33 (5 h2)
21Enzo FinocchiaroITA17:13.42 (4 h4)
22Jim CarterGBR17:16.01 (4 h1)
23Tomás BecerraCOL17:16.38 (5 h4)
24Zoltán VerrasztóHUN17:18.66 (3 h6)
25Sergio IrredentoITA17:19.45 (5 h1)
26 FedolaBRA17:20.34 (6 h4)
27Władysław WojtakajtisPOL17:23.47 (4 h6)
28Gustavo GonzálezARG17:23.53 (6 h2)
29Christoph KreienbühlSUI17:27.67 (5 h6)
30Jo O-RyeonKOR17:29.23 (4 h5)
31Friðrik GuðmundssonISL17:32.47 (6 h1)
32Aleksandr SamsonovURS17:32.88 (5 h5)
33Jorge JaramilloCOL17:35.84 (5 h3)
34Guillermo PachecoPER17:36.36 (7 h4)
35Dae ImlaniPHI17:37.65 (8 h4)
36Ali Moustafa KenawiEGY17:40.37 (6 h5)
37Neil DexterGBR17:42.83 (7 h5)
38Csaba SósHUN17:43.97 (6 h6)
39Eugen AlmerROU17:49.80 (6 h3)
40Brian CliffordIRL18:09.28 (8 h5)
41Edwin BorjaPHI18:12.17 (7 h1)
DQDimitrios TheodoropoulosGRE[18:15.90] (DQ h6)
DQRick DeMontUSA[16:17.61] (DQ h6)1
DNSVladimir PavlovićYUG– (DNS h2)
DNSSverre KileNOR– (DNS h3)

Round One (3 September 1972 — 11:05)

Fastest eight advanced to the final.

Heat One

1Hans FaßnachtFRG16:34.63OR
2Peter RosenkranzFRG16:58.26
3François DeleyBEL17:06.09
4Jim CarterGBR17:16.01
5Sergio IrredentoITA17:19.45
6Friðrik GuðmundssonISL17:32.47
7Edwin BorjaPHI18:12.17

Heat Two

1Graham WindeattAUS15:59.63QOR
2Guillermo GarcíaMEX16:29.48q
3Anders BellbringSWE16:33.27
4Dean BuckboroughCAN16:52.50
5Gerardo VeraVEN17:10.33
6Gustavo GonzálezARG17:23.53
DNSVladimir PavlovićYUG

Heat Three

1Mike BurtonUSA16:09.56Q
2Graham WhiteAUS16:19.63Q
3Brian BrinkleyGBR16:54.39
4Alberto GarcíaMEX17:05.68
5Jorge JaramilloCOL17:35.84
6Eugen AlmerROU17:49.80
DNSSverre KileNOR

Heat Four

1Doug NorthwayUSA16:15.30Q
2Mark TreffersNZL16:23.86Q
3Dusan GrozajFRG16:44.59
4Enzo FinocchiaroITA17:13.42
5Tomás BecerraCOL17:16.38
6 FedolaBRA17:20.34
7Guillermo PachecoPER17:36.36
8Dae ImlaniPHI17:37.65

Heat Five

1Brad CooperAUS16:11.41Q
2Bengt GingsjöSWE16:26.67Q
3Klaus DockhornGDR16:55.30
4Jo O-RyeonKOR17:29.23
5Aleksandr SamsonovURS17:32.88
6Ali Moustafa KenawiEGY17:40.37
7Neil DexterGBR17:42.83
8Brian CliffordIRL18:09.28

Heat Six

1Ton van KloosterNED16:34.77
2Axel FreudenbergGDR16:37.19
3Zoltán VerrasztóHUN17:18.66
4Władysław WojtakajtisPOL17:23.47
5Christoph KreienbühlSUI17:27.67
6Csaba SósHUN17:43.97
DQDimitrios TheodoropoulosGRE[18:15.90]
DQRick DeMontUSA[16:17.61]2

Final (4 September 1972 — 18:20)

15Mike BurtonUSA15:52.58WR
24Graham WindeattAUS15:58.48
36Doug NorthwayUSA16:09.25
41Bengt GingsjöSWE16:16.01
52Graham WhiteAUS16:17.22
67Mark TreffersNZL16:18.84
73Brad CooperAUS16:30.49
88Guillermo GarcíaMEX16:36.03