Host City: München, West Germany
Venue(s): Swimming Hall, Olympic Park, München
Date Started: September 3, 1972
Date Finished: September 4, 1972
[Mike Burton] was the defending champion but his teammate, [Rick DeMont], had defeated him at the US Trials in Chicago and set a world record of 15:52.91. DeMont qualified for the final on the morning of 3 September, but then came news that he was disqualified after testing positive for a banned substance that had been found from his urine test after the 400 metre freestyle, in which he seemingly won gold. This allowed Mexican [Guillermo García] to advance to the final of the 1,500, although had originally place ninth in the heats. In the final Burton went out fast and took the lead on the first lap, but Australia’s [Graham Windeatt] stayed close and took the lead back at 800 metres, increasing it to 1½ bodylengths by 1,000 metres. His pace was almost suicidal as at 900 metres he was six seconds ahead of DeMont’s world record pace, allowing Burton to gradually cut into Windeatt’s lead, pulling ahead at 1,300 metres, and increasing the lead to four full bodylengths at the finish, six seconds behind. American [Doug Northway] came in well back for the bronze medal. García finished last in the final. Burton finished in 15:52.58 to narrowly better DeMont’s world record.