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| Event type

1,500 metres, Men

Date3 – 6 September 1960
StatusOlympic
LocationStadio Olimpico, Roma
Participants39 from 25 countries

Since World War II, no Olympic 1,500 had an overwhelming favorite entering the race. That changed in 1960 with the presence of Australian Herb Elliott. His great year had been 1958 when he broke the world record in both the 1,500 (3:36.0) and the mile (3:54.5). He was not quite as dominant in 1959 but he was still undefeated as an adult over both distances. But at the end of 1959 he moved to Portsea where he trained under the legendary coach Percy Cerutty, to prepare for the Roma Olympics. In the heats he qualified easily, with nine runners advancing. His main opposition was felt to come from France’s Michel Jazy and Hungary’s István Rózsavölgyi. The final was led out by French runner Michel Bernard, who passed 800 metres in 1:57.8 with Elliott on his shoulder. Elliott then jumped into the lead, running the next 100 in 13.2, and he stretched out the field. He reached the start line in 2:54.0 for 1,200 metres, and continued to push the pace, the field trailing far behind him. At the end of the backstretch, Percy Cerutty waved a white towel, telling Elliott he was on world record pace. He tied up only slightly in the home straight, finishing with a world record of 3:35.6. Jazy trailed in second, almost three seconds back, with Rózsavölgyi getting the bronze medal. Thru the rest of 1960, Elliott ran numerous races, but never ran another mile or 1,500 after the end of the year. In 1961 he ran a few half-miles and then retired, never having lost at 1,500 or the mile. Considered the greatest miler ever at the time, many felt his short career left him far from his enormous potential.

PosNrAthleteNOCR1Final
19Herb ElliottAUS3:41.4 (1 h1)3:35.6 (1)GoldWR
2470Michel JazyFRA3:44.9 (2 h3)3:38.4 (2)Silver
3193István RózsavölgyiHUN3:42.0 (2 h1)3:39.2 (3)Bronze
4347Dan WaernSWE3:43.9 (1 h3)3:40.0 (4)
5213Zoltan VamoșROU3:44.9 (3 h3)3:40.8 (5)
6407Dyrol BurlesonUSA3:42.2 (3 h1)3:40.9 (6)
7471Michel BernardFRA3:42.2 (1 h2)3:41.5 (7)
8406Jim GrelleUSA3:43.5 (2 h2)3:45.0 (8)
9685Arne HamarslandNOR3:44.4 (3 h2)3:45.0 (9)
4 h1 r1/258Terry SullivanZIM3:42.8 (4 h1)
4 h2 r1/2632Brian Kent-SmithGBR3:46.1 (4 h2)
4 h3 r1/2272Adolf SchwarteGER3:45.3 (4 h3)
5 h1 r1/2555Yevgeny MomotkovURS3:43.6 (5 h1)
5 h2 r1/212Albie ThomasAUS3:46.8 (5 h2)
5 h3 r1/214Lajos KovácsHUN3:46.0 (5 h3)
6 h1 r1/2498Olavi SalonenFIN3:46.4 (6 h1)
6 h2 r1/2273Siegfried ValentinGER3:46.9 (6 h2)
6 h3 r1/2631Mike WiggsGBR3:46.5 (6 h3)
7 h1 r1/289Rudolf KlabanAUT3:47.1 (7 h1)
7 h2 r1/2368Svavar MarkússonISL3:47.1 (7 h2)
7 h3 r1/211Merv LincolnAUS3:46.8 (7 h3)
8 h1 r1/2274Arthur HannemannGER3:47.4 (8 h1)
8 h2 r1/2601Alfredo RizzoITA3:47.3 (8 h2)
8 h3 r1/2329Evangelos DepastasGRE3:48.4 (8 h3)
9 h1 r1/2633Laurie ReedGBR3:47.9 (9 h1)
9 h2 r1/2214Andrei BarabașROU3:47.4 (9 h2)
9 h3 r1/2408Pete CloseUSA3:50.2 (9 h3)
10 h1 r1/2137Joe MullinsCAN3:53.1 (10 h1)
10 h2 r1/2662Muharrem DalkılıçTUR3:47.9 (10 h2)
10 h3 r1/2497Olavi VuorisaloFIN3:52.2 (10 h3)
11 h1 r1/2453Tomás BarrísESP3:57.3 (11 h1)
11 h2 r1/266Dhira PhiphobmongkolTHA4:24.4 (11 h2)
11 h3 r1/2521Stefan LewandowskiPOL3:59.3 (11 h3)
12 h1 r1/271Mohamed GouiderTUN3:58.4 (12 h1)
12 h3 r1/2672Yair PantilatISR3:59.8 (12 h3)
13 h3 r1/224Kassim MukhtarIRQ4:00.1 (13 h3)
AC h1 r1/2522Zbigniew OrywałPOL– (AC h1)
AC h2 r1/2195Péter ParschHUN– (AC h2)
AC h2 r1/2372Egon OehriLIE– (AC h2)
DNS223Karl SchallerSUI– (DNS h3)
DNS4Abdul Ghafar GhafooriAFG– (DNS h1)
DNS237Roger MoensBEL– (DNS h2)
DNS169Ralph GomesGUY– (DNS h2)

Round One (3 September 1960 — 17:15)

Top three in each heat advanced to the final.

Heat One

PosOrdAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
114Herb ElliottAUS3:41.43:41.50Q
25István RózsavölgyiHUN3:42.03:42.15Q
37Dyrol BurlesonUSA3:42.23:42.40Q
48Terry SullivanZIM3:42.83:42.96
51Yevgeny MomotkovURS3:43.63:43.80
66Olavi SalonenFIN3:46.43:46.57
73Rudolf KlabanAUT3:47.13:47.24
82Arthur HannemannGER3:47.43:47.57
910Laurie ReedGBR3:47.93:48.24
1011Joe MullinsCAN3:53.13:53.45
119Tomás BarrísESP3:57.33:56.101
124Mohamed GouiderTUN3:58.43:58.52
AC12Zbigniew OrywałPOLDNF
DNS13Abdul Ghafar GhafooriAFG

Heat Two

PosOrdAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
18Michel BernardFRA3:42.23:42.34Q
25Jim GrelleUSA3:43.53:43.65Q
315Arne HamarslandNOR3:44.43:44.63Q
43Brian Kent-SmithGBR3:46.13:46.21
514Albie ThomasAUS3:46.83:46.95
613Siegfried ValentinGER3:46.93:46.99
710Svavar MarkússonISL3:47.13:47.20
82Alfredo RizzoITA3:47.33:47.56
91Andrei BarabașROU3:47.43:47.71
106Muharrem DalkılıçTUR3:47.93:47.18
1112Dhira PhiphobmongkolTHA4:24.4
AC9Péter ParschHUNDNF
AC11Egon OehriLIEDNF
DNS7Roger MoensBEL
DNS4Ralph GomesGUY

Heat Three

PosOrdAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
110Dan WaernSWE3:43.93:44.18Q
213Michel JazyFRA3:44.93:45.03Q
34Zoltan VamoșROU3:44.93:45.07Q
49Adolf SchwarteGER3:45.33:45.46
511Lajos KovácsHUN3:46.03:46.20
65Mike WiggsGBR3:46.53:46.61
78Merv LincolnAUS3:46.83:47.18
82Evangelos DepastasGRE3:48.43:48.77
912Pete CloseUSA3:50.23:50.69
107Olavi VuorisaloFIN3:52.23:52.68
1114Stefan LewandowskiPOL3:59.33:59.75
123Yair PantilatISR3:59.84:00.14
136Kassim MukhtarIRQ4:00.14:00.33
DNS1Karl SchallerSUI

Final (6 September 1960 — 16:15)

PosOrdAthleteNOCTime (H)
11Herb ElliottAUS3:35.6WR
24Michel JazyFRA3:38.4
32István RózsavölgyiHUN3:39.2
43Dan WaernSWE3:40.0
56Zoltan VamoșROU3:40.8
67Dyrol BurlesonUSA3:40.9
78Michel BernardFRA3:41.5
85Jim GrelleUSA3:45.0
99Arne HamarslandNOR3:45.0

Splits

100 m13.7Michel Bernard
200 m28.3Michel Bernard
300 m43.0Michel Bernard
400 m58.2Michel Bernard
500 m1:12.5Michel Bernard
600 m1:27.4Michel Bernard
700 m1:42.5Michel Bernard
800 m1:57.8Michel Bernard
900 m2:11.2Michel Bernard
1000 m2:25.4Herb Elliott
1100 m2:40.0Herb Elliott
1200 m2:54.0Herb Elliott
1300 m3:07.6Herb Elliott
1400 m3:21.2Herb Elliott