| Event type

1,500 metres Freestyle, Men

Date3 – 4 August 1984
LocationOlympic Swim Stadium, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
Participants27 from 19 countries

Without Vladimir Salnikov this event seemed empty. The Soviet star was the defending champion, having broken the 15-minute barrier at the Moscow Olympics, and winning the 1978 and 1982 World Championship. He had bettered his world record in both 1982 and 1983 and was still the only swimmer to have bested 15 minutes. In his absence the race was expected to come down to the two Americans, Mike O’Brien and George DiCarlo. By 200 metres of the final they had pulled away from the pack. But DiCarlo found the water warmer than he liked and fell off the pace by 800 metres, leaving O’Brien in control. He would eventually win gold in 15:05.20, but DiCarlo did hang on for the silver medal, followed by West German Stefan Pfeiffer in third. A few weeks later Salnikov won the Friendship Games 1,500 in 15:03.51. O’Brien commented after his win, “Obviously 15:05 is a long way from 14:54. I think, though, that if he’d have been in the same pool swimming right next to me, I could’ve given him a good race.” It’s nice to think so.

1Mike O'BrienUSA15:21.04 (1 h3)15:05.20 (1)Gold
2George DiCarloUSA15:22.88 (1 h4)15:10.59 (2)Silver
3Stefan PfeifferFRG15:21.95 (1 h2)15:12.11 (3)Bronze
4Rainer HenkelFRG15:23.60 (2 h4)15:20.03 (4)
5Franck IaconoFRA15:27.27 (2 h2)15:26.96 (5)
6Stefano GrandiITA15:22.49 (2 h3)15:28.58 (6)
7Dave ShemiltCAN15:24.78 (3 h4)15:31.28 (7)
8Wayne ShillingtonAUS15:25.67 (3 h3)15:38.18 (8)
9Justin LembergAUS15:29.74 (1 h1)
10Carlos ScanavinoURU15:29.78 (3 h2)
11Rafael EscalasESP15:30.09 (2 h1)
12David StaceyGBR15:30.10 (4 h4)
13Bernard VolzCAN15:31.38 (3 h1)
14Mike DavidsonNZL15:35.43 (4 h1)
15Borut PetričYUG15:36.44 (4 h2)
16Darjan PetričYUG15:39.79 (4 h3)
17Marcelo JucáBRA15:43.80 (5 h1)
18Juan EscalasESP15:44.85 (5 h4)
19Marc Van De WegheBEL15:45.50 (6 h4)
20Alejandro LecotARG15:49.94 (5 h2)
21Stuart WillmottGBR15:57.79 (5 h3)
22Anders HolmertzSWE16:11.38 (6 h3)
23Wu Ming-HsunTPE16:14.40 (7 h3)
24William WilsonPHI16:24.81 (6 h2)
25Lin Chun-HongTPE16:44.94 (6 h1)
26Scott NewkirkISV16:50.55 (7 h2)
27Julian BollingSRI17:16.92 (7 h1)
DNSAhmet NakkaşTUR– (DNS h4)

Round One (3 August 1984 — 10:20)

Fastest eight advanced to the final.

Heat One

15Justin LembergAUS15:29.74
24Rafael EscalasESP15:30.09
32Bernard VolzCAN15:31.38
46Mike DavidsonNZL15:35.43
53Marcelo JucáBRA15:43.80
67Lin Chun-HongTPE16:44.94
71Julian BollingSRI17:16.92

Heat Two

14Stefan PfeifferFRG15:21.95Q
26Franck IaconoFRA15:27.27Q
33Carlos ScanavinoURU15:29.78
45Borut PetričYUG15:36.44
52Alejandro LecotARG15:49.94
61William WilsonPHI16:24.81
77Scott NewkirkISV16:50.55

Heat Three

14Mike O'BrienUSA15:21.04Q
23Stefano GrandiITA15:22.49Q
36Wayne ShillingtonAUS15:25.67Q
45Darjan PetričYUG15:39.79
57Stuart WillmottGBR15:57.79
62Anders HolmertzSWE16:11.38
71Wu Ming-HsunTPE16:14.40

Heat Four

14George DiCarloUSA15:22.88Q
25Rainer HenkelFRG15:23.60Q
32Dave ShemiltCAN15:24.78Q
43David StaceyGBR15:30.10
56Juan EscalasESP15:44.85
67Marc Van De WegheBEL15:45.50
DNS1Ahmet NakkaşTUR

Final (4 August 1984 — 18:15)

14Mike O'BrienUSA15:05.20
26George DiCarloUSA15:10.59
35Stefan PfeifferFRG15:12.11
42Rainer HenkelFRG15:20.03
58Franck IaconoFRA15:26.96
63Stefano GrandiITA15:28.58
77Dave ShemiltCAN15:31.28
81Wayne ShillingtonAUS15:38.18