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Athletics at the 1964 Tokyo Summer Games:

Men's 1,500 metres

Athletics at the 1964 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games


Host City: Tokyo, Japan
Venue(s): National Stadium, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Date Started: October 17, 1964
Date Finished: October 21, 1964

Gold: NZL Peter Snell
Silver: TCH Josef Odložil
Bronze: NZL John Davies


In 1964 the favorite for the 1,500 was the man who had won the 1960 Olympic 800 in a major upset, New Zealander [Peter Snell]. At Tokyo, Snell planned to defend his 800 gold medal in attempting the 800/1,500 double. In January 1962, on a grass track in Wanganui, New Zealand, Snell had broken Herb Elliott’s world mile record by 1/10th second, posting 3:54.4. At Tokyo Snell ran three rounds of the 800 on 14-16 October and comfortably defended his gold medal. He later said that he had held something back for the 1,500. The 1,500 also had three rounds – on the 17th, 19th, and the final on the 21st. [Michel Bernard] led the final on the first lap, as he had in Roma, but the pace of the final was not fast. The leader at 1,200 was Snell’s teammate, [John Davies], who passed the start in 2:59.3. Suddenly Snell shot ahead with a startling burst of speed on the backstretch, and the race was over. He ran the next two 100 metre splits in 12.3 and 12.7, distancing the field. Slowing slightly coming home, he won by almost 15 metres in 3:38.1. He ran his last 300 in 38.6, and last 400 in 52.7. Czechoslovakia’s [Josef Odložil] finished second and Davies got the bronze medal. Later in November 1964, Snell again broke the world record with 3:54.1 in a race in Auckland.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinalSemi-FinalsRound One

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Peter Snell 25 New Zealand NZL Gold
2 Josef Odložil 25 Czechoslovakia TCH Silver
3 John Davies 26 New Zealand NZL Bronze
4 Alan Simpson 24 Great Britain GBR
5 Dyrol Burleson 24 United States USA
6 Witold Baran 25 Poland POL
7 Michel Bernard 32 France FRA
8 John Whetton 23 Great Britain GBR
9 Jean Wadoux 22 France FRA
5 h2 r2/3 Kip Keino 24 Kenya KEN
6 h1 r2/3 Wolf-Dieter Holtz 22 Germany GER
6 h2 r2/3 Eugène Allonsius 26 Belgium BEL
7 h1 r2/3 Karl-Uno Olofsson 23 Sweden SWE
7 h2 r2/3 Tom O'Hara 22 United States USA
8 h1 r2/3 Ergas Leps 25 Canada CAN
8 h2 r2/3 Jürgen May 22 Germany GER
9 h1 r2/3 Jim Ryun 17 United States USA
9 h2 r2/3 Simo Važić 30 Yugoslavia YUG
5 h1 r1/3 Bill McKim 23 Great Britain GBR
5 h3 r1/3 Stig Lindbäck 27 Sweden SWE
6 h1 r1/3 Hansrüedi Knill 24 Switzerland SUI
6 h2 r1/3 Olavi Salonen 30 Finland FIN
6 h3 r1/3 Volker Tulzer 24 Austria AUT
6 h4 r1/3 Siegfried Valentin 28 Germany GER
7 h1 r1/3 Denos Adjima Beche Cote d'Ivoire CIV
7 h2 r1/3 Francesco Bianchi 24 Italy ITA
7 h3 r1/3 Rolf Jelinek 28 Switzerland SUI
7 h4 r1/3 Mamo Sebsibe 20 Ethiopia ETH
8 h1 r1/3 Basil Clifford 26 Ireland IRL
8 h2 r1/3 Ibrahim Yazdan Panah 26 Iran IRI
8 h3 r1/3 Michel Medinger, Jr. 23 Luxembourg LUX
8 h4 r1/3 Ivan Belytskiy 27 Soviet Union URS
9 h1 r1/3 Neville Myton 18 Jamaica JAM
9 h2 r1/3 Albie Thomas 29 Australia AUS
9 h3 r1/3 Jeong Gyo-Mo 26 South Korea KOR
9 h4 r1/3 Attila Simon 25 Hungary HUN
10 h1 r1/3 Ramasamy Subramaniam 24 Malaysia MAS
10 h2 r1/3 Tira Klai-Angtong 21 Thailand THA
10 h3 r1/3 Hugo Walser 24 Liechtenstein LIE
10 h4 r1/3 Toichi Yamaguchi 22 Japan JPN
11 h3 r1/3 Anar Khan 25 Pakistan PAK
11 h4 r1/3 Eric Amevor 26 Ghana GHA
12 h4 r1/3 Mike Field 27 Hong Kong HKG