Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Wembley Arena, Wembley, London
Date Started: August 5, 1948
Date Finished: August 7, 1948
In 1938 Japanâs Tomikatsu Amano had become the first man to break nineteen minutes for the 1500m and his example had been matched by a younger generation of Japanese swimmers but, since Japan was not invited to the 1948 Olympics, the mantle of favourite for this event fell on Franceâs [Alex Jany]. The Frenchman performed poorly in his other events and, after the British food had proved too much for his stomach, was too ill to compete in the 1500m. This left the way clear for the seventeen year old American schoolboy, [James McLane], and the previously unconsidered Australian [John Marshall ] to battle for the gold. McLane started well and maintained a lead for the first thousand metres. With 500m to go Marshall made his challenge and the two men swam stroke for stroke for the next two lengths of the pool. The Australianâs challenge faded and more technically gifted McLane swam away to become the first American to win the event since Antwerp.