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| Event type

1,500 metres, Men

Date24 – 26 July 1952
StatusOlympic
LocationHelsingin Olympiastadion, Helsinki
Participants52 from 26 countries

There was no favorite for the 1952 1,500, but the field had outstanding depth. At least 25 runners had run under 3:50 or 4:10 leading up to Helsinki. For the first time, the event had three rounds, with two semi-finals qualifying six runners in each heat for the final. The leading qualifiers for the final were Bob McMillen (USA), Patrick El Mabrouk (FRA), Werner Lueg (GER), Audun Boysen (NOR), Josy Barthel (LUX), and Roger Bannister (GBR). The first lap was led by Germany’s Rolf Lamers in the overly fast time of 57.8. He still led after two laps but in a more reasonable 2:01.4. Lueg led thru 1,000 metres in 2:32.8 with the field still closely bunched. He continued to lead into the last curve, with McMillen, Bannister, Barthel and El Mabrouk chasing him. Lueg finally tied up on the straight and Barthel and McMillen passed him while Bannister and El Mabrouk began to slow. In one of the greatest Olympic finishes ever, Barthel barely held off McMillen, while Lueg recovered slightly to get the bronze medal. Roger Bannister finished fourth. A bit less than two years later, on 6 May 1954, at the Iffley Road track at Oxford, Bannister ran the mile in the British AAA vs. Oxford meet. His time that day was a world record of 3:59.4, making him the first runner to better the magical 4-minute mile barrier. Barthel’s gold medal was the “first” ever for tiny Luxembourg, although in the 1990s, French athletics historian Alain Bouillé discovered that the 1900 marathon gold medalist, Michel Théato, was actually a Luxembourgeois national.

PosNrAthleteNOCR1SFFinal
1406Josy BarthelLUX3:51.6 (1 h1)3:50.4 (1 h2)3:45.2 (1)GoldOR
2992Bob McMillenUSA3:55.8 (2 h4)3:50.6 (4 h2)3:45.2 (2)Silver
3739Werner LuegGER3:52.0 (1 h6)3:49.8 (2 h1)3:45.4 (3)Bronze
4177Roger BannisterGBR3:56.0 (3 h4)3:50.6 (5 h2)3:46.0 (4)
5604Patrick El MabroukFRA3:55.8 (1 h4)3:51.0 (5 h1)3:46.0 (5)
6738Rolf LamersGER3:52.4 (3 h3)3:50.8 (6 h2)3:46.8 (6)
7677Olle ÅbergSWE3:51.0 (1 h3)3:50.6 (2 h2)3:47.0 (7)
8675Ingvar EricssonSWE3:52.0 (3 h1)3:50.6 (3 h2)3:47.6 (8)
922Don MacMillanAUS3:52.0 (4 h1)3:50.8 (3 h1)3:49.6 (9)
10783Denis JohanssonFIN3:51.2 (2 h3)3:49.4 (1 h1)3:49.8 (10)
11504Audun BoysenNOR3:55.0 (3 h6)3:51.0 (6 h1)3:51.4 (11)
12993Warren DruetzlerUSA3:51.4 (1 h2)3:50.8 (4 h1)3:56.0 (12)
7 h1 r2/3901Václav ČevonaTCH3:53.4 (2 h6)3:51.4 (7 h1)
7 h2 r2/3900Stanislav JungwirthTCH3:52.4 (3 h2)3:51.0 (7 h2)
8 h1 r2/3676Sture LandqvistSWE3:52.2 (2 h2)3:51.4 (8 h1)
8 h2 r2/3939Vilmos TölgyesiHUN3:56.0 (4 h4)3:53.2 (8 h2)
9 h1 r2/3179Bill NankevilleGBR3:56.4 (3 h5)3:52.0 (9 h1)
9 h2 r2/342Frans HermanBEL3:56.2 (2 h5)3:53.8 (9 h2)
10 h1 r2/3350Bill ParnellCAN3:53.4 (4 h3)3:52.4 (10 h1)
10 h2 r2/3737Günter DohrowGER3:51.8 (2 h1)3:55.2 (10 h2)
11 h1 r2/3424Mihail VelsvebelURS3:52.6 (4 h2)3:52.6 (11 h1)
11 h2 r2/3422Nikolay BelokurovURS3:56.4 (4 h5)3:55.6 (11 h2)
12 h1 r2/3969George HoskinsNZL3:56.2 (1 h5)3:53.0 (12 h1)
12 h2 r2/3352John RossCAN3:55.2 (4 h6)4:00.6 (12 h2)
5 h1 r1/3938Sándor IharosHUN3:56.0 (5 h1)
5 h2 r1/3782Aulis PystynenFIN3:53.0 (5 h2)
5 h3 r1/3276Fritz ProssinaggAUT3:54.2 (5 h3)
5 h4 r1/321John LandyAUS3:57.0 (5 h4)
5 h5 r1/3781Urpo VähärantaFIN3:56.8 (5 h5)
5 h6 r1/3605Jean VernierFRA3:56.8 (5 h6)
6 h1 r1/3568Mieczysław DługoborskiPOL3:57.8 (6 h1)
6 h2 r1/3178Len EyreGBR3:53.2 (6 h2)
6 h3 r1/3108Athol JenningsRSA3:55.4 (6 h3)
6 h4 r1/3320Andrija OtenhajmerYUG3:57.8 (6 h4)
6 h5 r1/3991Javier MontezUSA3:58.2 (6 h5)
6 h6 r1/3567Edmund PotrzebowskiPOL3:56.8 (6 h6)
7 h1 r1/3974Filemón CamachoVEN4:18.0 (7 h1)
7 h2 r1/3848Fred LüthiSUI3:56.4 (7 h2)
7 h3 r1/341Daniel JanssensBEL3:55.8 (7 h3)
7 h4 r1/3968Maurice MarshallNZL4:01.0 (7 h4)
7 h5 r1/3569Stefan LewandowskiPOL4:00.8 (7 h5)
7 h6 r1/3937Sándor GarayHUN4:01.2 (7 h6)
8 h1 r1/3606Pierre GilletFRA4:26.6 (8 h1)
8 h2 r1/3918Turhan GökerTUR4:00.6 (8 h2)
8 h3 r1/3919Cahit ÖnelTUR3:58.4 (8 h3)
8 h4 r1/3423Nikolay KuchurinURS4:03.6 (8 h4)
8 h6 r1/3914Ekrem KoçakTUR4:01.4 (8 h6)
9 h4 r1/3376Vasilios MavroidisGRE4:07.8 (9 h4)
9 h6 r1/393William FahmyEGY4:11.2 (9 h6)
10 h6 r1/3889Satid LeangtanomTHA4:32.6 (10 h6)
AC h1 r1/3127Hans HartingNED– (AC h1)
AC h3 r1/3128Wim SlijkhuisNED– (AC h3)
DNS74Hugo NutiniCHI– (DNS h1)
DNS121Augusto RoblesGUA– (DNS h4)
DNS542Frank PrincePAN– (DNS h5)
DNS23Les PerryAUS– (DNS h3)
DNS43Gaston ReiffBEL– (DNS h2)
DNS351Jack HutchinsCAN– (DNS h1)
DNS75Guillermo SoláCHI– (DNS h5)
DNS871Gunnar NielsenDEN– (DNS h5)
DNS122Víctor SolaresGUA– (DNS h2)
DNS304Yoshitaka MuroyaJPN– (DNS h6)

Round One (24 July 1952 — 17:10)

Top four in each heat advanced to the final.

Heat One

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
1406Josy BarthelLUX3:51.63:51.75Q
2737Günter DohrowGER3:51.83:51.90Q
3675Ingvar EricssonSWE3:52.03:52.14Q
422Don MacMillanAUS3:52.03:52.30Q
5938Sándor IharosHUN3:56.03:56.85
6568Mieczysław DługoborskiPOL3:57.83:57.70
7974Filemón CamachoVEN4:18.0
8606Pierre GilletFRA4:26.6
AC127Hans HartingNEDDNF
DNS74Hugo NutiniCHI
DNS351Jack HutchinsCAN

Splits

400 m57.5Hans Harting
800 m1:59.8Sándor Iharos
1200 m3:04.8Sándor Iharos

Heat Two

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
1993Warren DruetzlerUSA3:51.43:51.66Q
2676Sture LandqvistSWE3:52.23:52.31Q
3900Stanislav JungwirthTCH3:52.43:52.58Q
4424Mihail VelsvebelURS3:52.63:52.72Q
5782Aulis PystynenFIN3:53.03:53.33
6178Len EyreGBR3:53.23:53.34
7848Fred LüthiSUI3:56.43:56.52
8918Turhan GökerTUR4:00.64:01.02
DNS43Gaston ReiffBEL
DNS122Víctor SolaresGUA

Splits

400 m1:02.0Len Eyre
800 m2:06.0Warren Druetzler
1200 m3:08.0Warren Druetzler

Heat Three

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
1677Olle ÅbergSWE3:51.03:51.14Q
2783Denis JohanssonFIN3:51.23:51.22Q
3738Rolf LamersGER3:52.43:52.72Q
4350Bill ParnellCAN3:53.43:53.75Q
5276Fritz ProssinaggAUT3:54.23:54.76
6108Athol JenningsRSA3:55.43:55.69
741Daniel JanssensBEL3:55.83:55.98
8919Cahit ÖnelTUR3:58.43:58.42
AC128Wim SlijkhuisNEDDNF
DNS23Les PerryAUS

Splits

400 m1:00.4Fritz Prossinagg
800 m2:06.4Fritz Prossinagg
1200 m3:07.8Olle Åberg

Heat Four

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
1604Patrick El MabroukFRA3:55.83:55.77Q
2992Bob McMillenUSA3:55.83:55.82Q
3177Roger BannisterGBR3:56.03:56.13Q
4939Vilmos TölgyesiHUN3:56.03:56.20Q
521John LandyAUS3:57.03:57.14
6320Andrija OtenhajmerYUG3:57.83:58.20
7968Maurice MarshallNZL4:01.04:01.03
8423Nikolay KuchurinURS4:03.64:01.80
9376Vasilios MavroidisGRE4:07.8
DNS121Augusto RoblesGUA

Splits

400 m1:05.6Andrija Otenhajmer
800 m2:13.0Roger Bannister
1200 m3:14.0Andrija Otenhajmer

Heat Five

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
1969George HoskinsNZL3:56.23:56.33Q
242Frans HermanBEL3:56.23:56.37Q
3179Bill NankevilleGBR3:56.43:56.48Q1
4422Nikolay BelokurovURS3:56.43:56.47Q2
5781Urpo VähärantaFIN3:56.83:56.85
6991Javier MontezUSA3:58.23:58.10
7569Stefan LewandowskiPOL4:00.84:00.87
DNS542Frank PrincePAN
DNS75Guillermo SoláCHI
DNS871Gunnar NielsenDEN

Splits

400 m1:06.0George Hoskins
800 m2:12.0Nikolay Belokurov
1200 m3:12.0Nikolay Belokurov

Heat Six

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
1739Werner LuegGER3:52.03:52.31Q
2901Václav ČevonaTCH3:53.43:53.45Q
3504Audun BoysenNOR3:55.03:55.15Q
4352John RossCAN3:55.23:55.60Q
5605Jean VernierFRA3:56.83:56.61
6567Edmund PotrzebowskiPOL3:56.83:56.91
7937Sándor GarayHUN4:01.24:01.53
8914Ekrem KoçakTUR4:01.44:01.77
993William FahmyEGY4:11.2
10889Satid LeangtanomTHA4:32.6
DNS304Yoshitaka MuroyaJPN

Splits

400 m1:04.0Ekrem Koçak
800 m2:07.0Jean Vernier
1200 m3:10.0Ekrem Koçak

Semi-Finals (25 July 1952 — 17:40)

Top six in each heat advanced to the final.

Heat One

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
1783Denis JohanssonFIN3:49.43:49.60Q
2739Werner LuegGER3:49.83:50.06Q
322Don MacMillanAUS3:50.83:50.81Q
4993Warren DruetzlerUSA3:50.83:51.16Q
5604Patrick El MabroukFRA3:51.03:51.25Q
6504Audun BoysenNOR3:51.03:51.33Q
7901Václav ČevonaTCH3:51.43:51.37
8676Sture LandqvistSWE3:51.43:51.45
9179Bill NankevilleGBR3:52.03:51.93
10350Bill ParnellCAN3:52.43:52.913
11424Mihail VelsvebelURS3:52.63:52.584
12969George HoskinsNZL3:53.03:52.72

Splits

400 m1:00.2Mihail Velsvebel
800 m2:05.0Mihail Velsvebel
1200 m3:07.4Denis Johansson

Heat Two

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
1406Josy BarthelLUX3:50.43:50.51Q
2677Olle ÅbergSWE3:50.63:50.71Q
3675Ingvar EricssonSWE3:50.63:50.77Q
4992Bob McMillenUSA3:50.63:50.84Q
5177Roger BannisterGBR3:50.63:50.92Q
6738Rolf LamersGER3:50.83:51.30Q
7900Stanislav JungwirthTCH3:51.03:51.72
8939Vilmos TölgyesiHUN3:53.23:53.56
942Frans HermanBEL3:53.83:54.04
10737Günter DohrowGER3:55.23:55.27
11422Nikolay BelokurovURS3:55.63:55.49
12352John RossCAN4:00.6

Splits

400 m1:02.0John Ross
800 m2:07.6John Ross
1200 m3:07.6Nikolay Belokurov

Final (26 July 1952 — 16:30)

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
1406Josy BarthelLUX3:45.23:45.28OR
2992Bob McMillenUSA3:45.23:45.39=OR
3739Werner LuegGER3:45.43:45.67
4177Roger BannisterGBR3:46.03:46.30
5604Patrick El MabroukFRA3:46.03:46.35
6738Rolf LamersGER3:46.83:47.18
7677Olle ÅbergSWE3:47.03:47.20
8675Ingvar EricssonSWE3:47.63:47.70
922Don MacMillanAUS3:49.63:49.77
10783Denis JohanssonFIN3:49.83:50.24
11504Audun BoysenNOR3:51.43:51.75
12993Warren DruetzlerUSA3:56.0

Splits

400 m57.8Rolf Lamers
800 m2:01.4Rolf Lamers
1000 m2:32.8Werner Lueg
1200 m3:03.0Werner Lueg