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Swimming at the 1968 Ciudad de México Summer Games:

Men's 1,500 metres Freestyle

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Host City: Ciudad de México, Mexico
Venue(s): Francisco Márquez Olympic Swimming Pool, Ciudad de México
Date Started: October 25, 1968
Date Finished: October 26, 1968

Gold: USA Mike Burton
Silver: USA John Kinsella
Bronze: AUS Greg Brough

Summary

The favorite was Mike Burton, who had already won the 400 freestyle, was the current world record holder, and had set three world marks in the race. Mexican fans placed their hopes on Guillermo Echevarría, who in July had set a world record at a meet in Santa Clara, California. But Burton bettered that mark by almost 20 seconds at the US Trials. In the final, Echevarría set a suicidal pace on the first 100, leading Burton, and he paid the price by 200 metres, already falling back. Burton was steady, leading by three lengths at 500 metres, Echevarría holding on for second. By 1,000 metres America’s [John Kinsella] had moved into second, but he was 18 metres in back of Burton, who had the race in hand, and Echevarría had dropped to near the back of the pack. Burton eventually won by 18.4 seconds over Kinsella, with Australia’s Greg Brough taking the bronze medal, while Echevarría finished sixth. In 1972 at Munich, Burton would return and defend his gold medal. In August 1970, Kinsella became the first swimmer to break 16 minutes for the 1,500. He later became a professional open water swimmer, winning many events, and is one of the few Olympic swimmers to have successfully crossed the English Channel.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Mike Burton 21 United States USA Gold OR
2 John Kinsella 16 United States USA Silver
3 Greg Brough 17 Australia AUS Bronze
4 Graham White 17 Australia AUS
5 Ralph Hutton 20 Canada CAN
6 Guillermo Echevarría 20 Mexico MEX
7 Juan Alanís 22 Mexico MEX
8 John Nelson 20 United States USA
3 h1 r1/2 Hans Faßnacht 17 West Germany FRG
3 h2 r1/2 Karl-Rüdiger Mann 18 East Germany GDR
3 h3 r1/2 Gunnar Larsson 17 Sweden SWE
3 h4 r1/2 Katsuji Ito 22 Japan JPN
4 h1 r1/2 Julio Arango 18 Colombia COL
4 h2 r1/2 Antonio Corell 18 Spain ESP
4 h3 r1/2 Jorge Urreta 18 Mexico MEX
4 h4 r1/2 Jean-François Ravelinghien 21 France FRA
5 h1 r1/2 Vladimir Bure 17 Soviet Union URS
5 h3 r1/2 Władysław Wojtakajtis 19 Poland POL
5 h4 r1/2 Jorge González 19 Puerto Rico PUR
6 h3 r1/2 Jacques Henrard 18 Belgium BEL
6 h4 r1/2 Rubén Guerrero 13 El Salvador ESA