Host City: Ciudad de MÃ©xico, Mexico
Venue(s): Francisco MÃ¡rquez Olympic Swimming Pool, Ciudad de MÃ©xico
Date Started: October 25, 1968
Date Finished: October 26, 1968
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 EchevarrÃa], 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, EchevarrÃa 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, EchevarrÃa holding on for second. By 1,000 metres Americaâs [John Kinsella] had moved into second, but he was 18 metres in back of Burton, who had the race in hand, and EchevarrÃa had dropped to near the back of the pack. Burton eventually won by 18.4 seconds over Kinsella, with Australiaâs [Greg Brough] taking the bronze medal, while EchevarrÃa 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.