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Swimming at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Games:

Men's 1,500 metres Freestyle

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Host City: Los Angeles, United States
Venue(s): Olympic Swim Stadium, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
Date Started: August 3, 1984
Date Finished: August 4, 1984

Gold: USA Mike O'Brien
Silver: USA George DiCarlo
Bronze: FRG Stefan Pfeiffer

Summary

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.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Mike O'Brien 18 United States USA Gold
2 George DiCarlo 21 United States USA Silver
3 Stefan Pfeiffer 18 West Germany FRG Bronze
4 Rainer Henkel 20 West Germany FRG
5 Franck Iacono 18 France FRA
6 Stefano Grandi 21 Italy ITA
7 Dave Shemilt 19 Canada CAN
8 Wayne Shillington 17 Australia AUS
9 Justin Lemberg 17 Australia AUS
10 Carlos Scanavino 20 Uruguay URU
11 Rafael Escalas 23 Spain ESP
12 David Stacey 19 Great Britain GBR
13 Bernard Volz 15 Canada CAN
14 Mike Davidson 21 New Zealand NZL
15 Borut Petrič 23 Yugoslavia YUG
16 Darjan Petrič 19 Yugoslavia YUG
17 Marcelo Jucá 20 Brazil BRA
18 Juan Escalas 20 Spain ESP
19 Marc Van De Weghe 20 Belgium BEL
20 Alejandro Lecot 21 Argentina ARG
21 Stuart Willmott 20 Great Britain GBR
22 Anders Holmertz 15 Sweden SWE
23 Wu Ming-Hsun 16 Chinese Taipei TPE
24 William Wilson 19 Philippines PHI
25 Lin Chun-Hong 18 Chinese Taipei TPE
26 Scott Newkirk 23 United States Virgin Islands ISV
27 Julian Bolling 18 Sri Lanka SRI