| Event type

1,500 metres, Men

Date17 – 21 October 1964
LocationKokuritsu Kyogijo, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Participants43 from 33 countries

In 1964 the favorite for the 1,500 was the man who had won the 1960 Olympic 800 in a major upset, New Zealander Peter Snell. At Tokyo, Snell planned to defend his 800 gold medal in attempting the 800/1,500 double. In January 1962, on a grass track in Wanganui, New Zealand, Snell had broken Herb Elliott’s world mile record by 1/10th second, posting 3:54.4. At Tokyo Snell ran three rounds of the 800 on 14-16 October and comfortably defended his gold medal. He later said that he had held something back for the 1,500. The 1,500 also had three rounds – on the 17th, 19th, and the final on the 21st. Michel Bernard led the final on the first lap, as he had in Roma, but the pace of the final was not fast. The leader at 1,200 was Snell’s teammate, John Davies, who passed the start in 2:59.3. Suddenly Snell shot ahead with a startling burst of speed on the backstretch, and the race was over. He ran the next two 100 metre splits in 12.3 and 12.7, distancing the field. Slowing slightly coming home, he won by almost 15 metres in 3:38.1. He ran his last 300 in 38.6, and last 400 in 52.7. Czechoslovakia’s Josef Odložil finished second and Davies got the bronze medal. Later in November 1964, Snell again broke the world record with 3:54.1 in a race in Auckland.

1466Peter SnellNZL3:46.8 (4 h3)3:38.8 (1 h1)3:38.1 (1)Gold
284Josef OdložilTCH3:43.2 (3 h4)3:39.3 (3 h1)3:39.6 (2)Silver
3467John DaviesNZL3:45.5 (2 h1)3:41.9 (3 h2)3:39.6 (3)Bronze
4159Alan SimpsonGBR3:42.8 (1 h4)3:41.5 (2 h2)3:39.7 (4)
5714Dyrol BurlesonUSA3:45.6 (3 h1)3:41.5 (1 h2)3:40.0 (5)
6499Witold BaranPOL3:45.3 (1 h1)3:38.9 (2 h1)3:40.3 (6)
7126Michel BernardFRA3:43.4 (1 h2)3:39.7 (4 h1)3:41.2 (7)
8160John WhettonGBR3:44.2 (3 h2)3:39.9 (5 h1)3:42.4 (8)
9125Jean WadouxFRA3:43.0 (2 h4)3:41.9 (4 h2)3:45.4 (9)
5 h2 r2/3388Kip KeinoKEN3:45.8 (1 h3)3:41.9 (5 h2)
6 h1 r2/3205Wolf-Dieter HoltzGER3:46.6 (2 h3)3:42.3 (6 h1)
6 h2 r2/338Eugène AllonsiusBEL3:43.3 (4 h4)3:41.9 (6 h2)
7 h1 r2/3563Karl-Uno OlofssonSWE3:44.8 (5 h2)3:44.8 (7 h1)
7 h2 r2/3715Tom O'HaraUSA3:46.7 (3 h3)3:43.4 (7 h2)
8 h1 r2/359Ergas LepsCAN3:46.4 (4 h1)3:51.2 (8 h1)
8 h2 r2/3206Jürgen MayGER3:44.2 (2 h2)3:46.8 (8 h2)
9 h1 r2/3716Jim RyunUSA3:44.4 (4 h2)3:55.0 (9 h1)
9 h2 r2/3781Simo VažićYUG3:43.7 (5 h4)3:48.3 (9 h2)
5 h1 r1/3161Bill McKimGBR3:46.8 (5 h1)
5 h3 r1/3562Stig LindbäckSWE3:47.1 (5 h3)
6 h1 r1/3583Hansrüedi KnillSUI3:47.2 (6 h1)
6 h2 r1/3102Olavi SalonenFIN3:46.8 (6 h2)
6 h3 r1/328Volker TulzerAUT3:49.0 (6 h3)
6 h4 r1/3207Siegfried ValentinGER3:44.9 (6 h4)
7 h1 r1/3368Dénos AdjimaCIV3:53.5 (7 h1)
7 h2 r1/3347Francesco BianchiITA3:47.9 (7 h2)
7 h3 r1/3582Rolf JelinekSUI3:51.2 (7 h3)
7 h4 r1/397Mamo SebsibeETH3:45.8 (7 h4)
8 h1 r1/3323Basil CliffordIRL3:54.9 (8 h1)
8 h2 r1/3330Ibrahim Yazdan PanahIRI3:54.8 (8 h2)
8 h3 r1/3408Michel Medinger, Jr.LUX3:51.8 (8 h3)
8 h4 r1/3649Ivan BelitskyURS3:46.7 (8 h4)
9 h1 r1/3378Neville MytonJAM3:57.0 (9 h1)
9 h2 r1/311Albie ThomasAUS3:54.9 (9 h2)
9 h3 r1/3396Jeong Gyo-MoKOR3:53.0 (9 h3)
9 h4 r1/3290Attila SimonHUN3:49.1 (9 h4)
10 h1 r1/3416Ramasamy SubramaniamMAS3:59.4 (10 h1)
10 h2 r1/3599Tira Klai-AngtongTHA4:08.7 (10 h2)
10 h3 r1/3406Hugo WalserLIE3:53.3 (10 h3)
10 h4 r1/3791Toichi YamaguchiJPN3:56.7 (10 h4)
11 h3 r1/3478Anar KhanPAK3:56.7 (11 h3)
11 h4 r1/3271Eric AmevorGHA3:58.4 (11 h4)
12 h4 r1/3283Mike FieldHKG4:02.6 (12 h4)
DNS70Ahmed IssaCHA– (DNS h1)
DNS78José Gregorio NeiraCOL– (DNS h1)
DNS124Michel JazyFRA– (DNS h3)
DNS413Jean RandrianjatavoMAD– (DNS h2)
DNS521Manuel OliveiraPOR– (DNS h3)
DNS622Muharrem DalkılıçTUR– (DNS h2)
DNS780Nguyễn Văn LýVNM– (DNS h1)

Round One (17 October 1964 — 11:00)

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

Heat One

PosOrdAthleteNOCTime (H)
11Witold BaranPOL3:45.3Q
29John DaviesNZL3:45.5Q
37Dyrol BurlesonUSA3:45.6Q
48Ergas LepsCAN3:46.4Q
53Bill McKimGBR3:46.8
64Hansrüedi KnillSUI3:47.2
75Dénos AdjimaCIV3:53.5
86Basil CliffordIRL3:54.9
911Neville MytonJAM3:57.0
1013Ramasamy SubramaniamMAS3:59.4
DNS70Ahmed IssaCHA
DNS78José Gregorio NeiraCOL
DNS780Nguyễn Văn LýVNM

Heat Two

PosOrdAthleteNOCTime (H)
14Michel BernardFRA3:43.4Q
25Jürgen MayGER3:44.2Q
37John WhettonGBR3:44.2Q
49Jim RyunUSA3:44.4Q
58Karl-Uno OlofssonSWE3:44.8q
66Olavi SalonenFIN3:46.8
71Francesco BianchiITA3:47.9
811Ibrahim Yazdan PanahIRI3:54.8
912Albie ThomasAUS3:54.9
103Tira Klai-AngtongTHA4:08.7
DNS413Jean RandrianjatavoMAD
DNS622Muharrem DalkılıçTUR

Heat Three

PosOrdAthleteNOCTime (H)
15Kip KeinoKEN3:45.8Q
28Wolf-Dieter HoltzGER3:46.6Q
36Tom O'HaraUSA3:46.7Q
49Peter SnellNZL3:46.8Q
57Stig LindbäckSWE3:47.1
61Volker TulzerAUT3:49.0
72Rolf JelinekSUI3:51.2
83Michel Medinger, Jr.LUX3:51.8
913Jeong Gyo-MoKOR3:53.0
104Hugo WalserLIE3:53.3
1111Anar KhanPAK3:56.7
DNS124Michel JazyFRA
DNS521Manuel OliveiraPOR

Heat Four

PosOrdAthleteNOCTime (H)
12Alan SimpsonGBR3:42.8Q
27Jean WadouxFRA3:43.0Q
311Josef OdložilTCH3:43.2Q
45Eugène AllonsiusBEL3:43.3Q
51Simo VažićYUG3:43.7q
612Siegfried ValentinGER3:44.9
73Mamo SebsibeETH3:45.8
88Ivan BelitskyURS3:46.7
94Attila SimonHUN3:49.1
109Toichi YamaguchiJPN3:56.7
1110Eric AmevorGHA3:58.4
126Mike FieldHKG4:02.6

Semi-Finals (19 October 1964 — 11:00)

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

Heat One

PosOrdAthleteNOCTime (H)
13Peter SnellNZL3:38.8Q
21Witold BaranPOL3:38.9Q
35Josef OdložilTCH3:39.3Q
49Michel BernardFRA3:39.7Q
57John WhettonGBR3:39.9q
66Wolf-Dieter HoltzGER3:42.3
78Karl-Uno OlofssonSWE3:44.8
84Ergas LepsCAN3:51.2
92Jim RyunUSA3:55.0


400 m56.5Michel Bernard
800 m1:55.8Michel Bernard
1200 m2:55.8Michel Bernard

Heat Two

PosOrdAthleteNOCTime (H)
16Dyrol BurlesonUSA3:41.5Q
22Alan SimpsonGBR3:41.5Q
34John DaviesNZL3:41.9Q
43Jean WadouxFRA3:41.9q
51Kip KeinoKEN3:41.9
68Eugène AllonsiusBEL3:41.9
79Tom O'HaraUSA3:43.4
85Jürgen MayGER3:46.8
97Simo VažićYUG3:48.3

Final (21 October 1964 — 13:20)

PosOrdAthleteNOCTime (H)
16Peter SnellNZL3:38.1
24Josef OdložilTCH3:39.6
32John DaviesNZL3:39.6
43Alan SimpsonGBR3:39.7
51Dyrol BurlesonUSA3:40.0
65Witold BaranPOL3:40.3
77Michel BernardFRA3:41.2
88John WhettonGBR3:42.4
99Jean WadouxFRA3:45.4


400 m58.0Michel Bernard
800 m2:00.5John Davies
1,200 m2:59.3John Davies