| Event type

1,500 metres Freestyle, Men

Date5 – 7 August 1948
LocationWembley Arena, Wembley, London
Participants39 from 21 countries
Olympic Record 19:12.4 / Kuzuo Kitamura JPN / 13 August 1932

In 1938 Japan’s Tomikatsu Amano had become the first man to break nineteen minutes for the 1500m and his example had been matched by a younger generation of Japanese swimmers but, since Japan was not invited to the 1948 Olympics, the mantle of favourite for this event fell on France’s Alex Jany. The Frenchman performed poorly in his other events and, after the British food had proved too much for his stomach, was too ill to compete in the 1500m. This left the way clear for the seventeen year old American schoolboy, James McLane, and the previously unconsidered Australian John Marshall to battle for the gold. McLane started well and maintained a lead for the first thousand metres. With 500m to go Marshall made his challenge and the two men swam stroke for stroke for the next two lengths of the pool. The Australian’s challenge faded and more technically gifted McLane swam away to become the first American to win the event since Antwerp.

1Jimmy McLaneUSA20:17.7 (1 h2)19:52.2 (1 h2)19:18.5 (1)Gold
2John MarshallAUS20:01.1 (1 h5)19:53.8 (1 h1)19:31.3 (2)Silver
3György MitróHUN20:15.0 (1 h6)20:06.5 (2 h1)19:43.2 (3)Bronze
4György CsordásHUN20:06.8 (1 h4)20:06.6 (2 h2)19:54.2 (4)
5Marijan StipetićYUG20:10.1 (1 h3)20:12.9 (3 h1)20:10.7 (5)
6Forbes NorrisUSA20:21.0 (2 h5)20:09.3 (3 h2)20:18.8 (6)
7Donald BlandGBR20:13.9 (2 h3)20:19.8 (4 h2)20:19.8 (7)
8Bill HeusnerUSA20:29.6 (1 h1)20:23.9 (4 h1)20:45.4 (8)
5 h1 r2/3Florbel PérezURU20:20.2 (3 h6)20:32.6 (5 h1)
5 h2 r2/3Jo BernardoFRA20:34.8 (3 h5)20:25.5 (5 h2)
6 h1 r2/3Miroslav BartůšekTCH20:19.4 (2 h6)20:32.9 (6 h1)
6 h2 r2/3Ferenc VörösHUN20:31.9 (2 h1)20:31.4 (6 h2)
7 h1 r2/3Rolf KestenerBRA20:36.3 (3 h2)20:44.6 (7 h1)
7 h2 r2/3Luis GonzálezCOL20:40.6 (3 h4)20:41.6 (7 h2)
2 h2 r1/3Jack HaleGBR20:31.9 (2 h2)– (DNS h1)
2 h4 r1/3Per-Olof ÖstrandSWE20:19.8 (2 h4)– (DNS h2)
3 h1 r1/3Jack WardropGBR20:43.0 (3 h1)
3 h3 r1/3Sambiao BasanungPHI21:05.9 (3 h3)
4 h1 r1/3Ángel MaldonadoMEX20:47.2 (4 h1)
4 h2 r1/3Joseph ReyndersBEL21:23.1 (4 h2)
4 h3 r1/3Alejandro FebreroESP21:15.9 (4 h3)
4 h4 r1/3Isidoro Martínez-VelaESP21:13.7 (4 h4)
4 h5 r1/3Luis ChildCOL20:47.0 (4 h5)
4 h6 r1/3Don JohnstonRSA20:41.8 (4 h6)
5 h1 r1/3Adolfo MancusoARG21:16.7 (5 h1)
5 h2 r1/3Janko PuharYUG21:45.1 (5 h2)
5 h3 r1/3Doug GibsonCAN21:25.6 (5 h3)
5 h4 r1/3César BorjaMEX21:15.8 (5 h4)
5 h5 r1/3Juan GarayARG21:33.2 (5 h5)
5 h6 r1/3Ramón BravoMEX20:45.5 (5 h6)
6 h1 r1/3Vanja IlićYUG21:17.0 (6 h1)
6 h3 r1/3Bimal ChandraIND22:52.9 (6 h3)
6 h4 r1/3Garrick AgnewAUS21:40.1 (6 h4)
6 h5 r1/3Jesús DomínguezESP21:33.5 (6 h5)
6 h6 r1/3René CornuFRA21:01.6 (6 h6)
7 h1 r1/3Anwar Aziz ChaudhryPAK25:37.4 (7 h1)
7 h3 r1/3Philip TribleyBER22:56.6 (7 h3)
7 h4 r1/3Allen GilchristCAN23:00.6 (7 h4)
7 h5 r1/3Derek OatwayBER21:55.1 (7 h5)
DNSAlfredo YantornoARG– (DNS h6)
DNSAlex JanyFRA– (DNS h2)

Round One (5 August 1948)

Top two in each heat and the next four fastest advanced to the semi-finals.

Heat One (10:00)

16Bill HeusnerUSA20:29.6Q
23Ferenc VörösHUN20:31.9Q
37Jack WardropGBR20:43.0
44Ángel MaldonadoMEX20:47.2
51Adolfo MancusoARG21:16.7
62Vanja IlićYUG21:17.0
75Anwar Aziz ChaudhryPAK25:37.4

Heat Two (10:40)

12Jimmy McLaneUSA20:17.7Q
26Jack HaleGBR20:31.9Q
37Rolf KestenerBRA20:36.3q
43Joseph ReyndersBEL21:23.1
55Janko PuharYUG21:45.1
DNS4Alex JanyFRA

Heat Three (11:20)

13Marijan StipetićYUG20:10.1Q
25Donald BlandGBR20:13.9Q
36Sambiao BasanungPHI21:05.9
44Alejandro FebreroESP21:15.9
51Doug GibsonCAN21:25.6
67Bimal ChandraIND22:52.9
72Philip TribleyBER22:56.6

Heat Four (14:00)

13György CsordásHUN20:06.8Q
25Per-Olof ÖstrandSWE20:19.8Q
31Luis GonzálezCOL20:40.6q
42Isidoro Martínez-VelaESP21:13.7
57César BorjaMEX21:15.8
64Garrick AgnewAUS21:40.1
76Allen GilchristCAN23:00.6

Heat Five (14:40)

14John MarshallAUS20:01.1Q
21Forbes NorrisUSA20:21.0Q
35Jo BernardoFRA20:34.8q
47Luis ChildCOL20:47.0
52Juan GarayARG21:33.2
66Jesús DomínguezESP21:33.5
73Derek OatwayBER21:55.1

Heat Six (15:20)

17György MitróHUN20:15.0Q
24Miroslav BartůšekTCH20:19.4Q
32Florbel PérezURU20:20.2q
46Don JohnstonRSA20:41.8
51Ramón BravoMEX20:45.5
65René CornuFRA21:01.6
DNS3Alfredo YantornoARG

Semi-Finals (6 August 1948 — 10:00)

Top three in each heat and the next two fastest advanced to the final.

Heat One

15John MarshallAUS19:53.8Q
26György MitróHUN20:06.5Q
34Marijan StipetićYUG20:12.9Q
42Bill HeusnerUSA20:23.9q
57Florbel PérezURU20:32.6
63Miroslav BartůšekTCH20:32.9
71Rolf KestenerBRA20:44.6
DNS8Jack HaleGBR

Heat Two

16Jimmy McLaneUSA19:52.2Q
25György CsordásHUN20:06.6Q
37Forbes NorrisUSA20:09.3Q
44Donald BlandGBR20:19.8q
58Jo BernardoFRA20:25.5
62Ferenc VörösHUN20:31.4
71Luis GonzálezCOL20:41.6
DNS3Per-Olof ÖstrandSWE

Final (7 August 1948 — 16:00)

15Jimmy McLaneUSA19:18.5
24John MarshallAUS19:31.3
36György MitróHUN19:43.2
43György CsordásHUN19:54.2
52Marijan StipetićYUG20:10.7
67Forbes NorrisUSA20:18.8
78Donald BlandGBR20:19.8
81Bill HeusnerUSA20:45.4