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Swimming at the 1976 Montréal Summer Games:

Men's 1,500 metres Freestyle

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Host City: Montréal, Canada
Venue(s): Olympic Pool, Montréal, Québec
Date Started: July 19, 1976
Date Finished: July 20, 1976

Gold: USA Brian Goodell
Silver: USA Bobby Hackett
Bronze: AUS Steve Holland


The three favorites were Australian [Stephen Holland], who had set a world record in the event in Sydney in February 1976; [Bobby Hackett], runner-up of the US Trials a few weeks before Montréal; and [Brian Goodell], who would later win the 400 freestyle gold and had set the world record of 15:06.66 at the US Trials. All had different plans. Hackett was known for setting a suicidal pace and trying to hold on. Holland started slowly and would usually push the middle 500 metres, and then finish with what he had. Goodell would follow the leaders, relying in his faster speed to finish and try to win. Hackett took the lead on the first lap with Holland in his wake, expecting Hackett to go out fast and collapse from the effort. But what he didn’t know was that Hackett had changed his strategy and was setting a moderate pace, one he could maintain all day. At 800 metres, Hackett led in 8:03.50, well off the pace he had set at the US Trials. Holland only realized his mistake at 950 metres and took the lead, but it was far too late for him to drop his American rivals.

Goodell caught Hackett at 1,350 metres, who still trailed Holland by a bit. But Goodell took the lead at 1,400 metres and finished strongly to win the gold comfortably. In the final 100, Hackett came back and overtook Holland for the USA to finish 1-2. Goodell finished in the world record time of 15:02.40, with Hackett and Holland also both under the world mark.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinalRound One

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Brian Goodell 17 United States USA Gold WR
2 Bobby Hackett 16 United States USA Silver
3 Steve Holland 18 Australia AUS Bronze
4 Djan Madruga 17 Brazil BRA
5 Vladimir Salnikov 16 Soviet Union URS
6 Max Metzker 16 Australia AUS
7 Paul Hartloff 18 United States USA
8 Zoltán Wladár 16 Hungary HUN
2 h3 r1/2 Paul Nash 16 Australia AUS
2 h4 r1/2 Valentin Parinov 17 Soviet Union URS
3 h1 r1/2 David Parker 17 Great Britain GBR
3 h2 r1/2 Igor Kushpelev 16 Soviet Union URS
3 h3 r1/2 Paul Midgley 18 Canada CAN
3 h4 r1/2 Henk Elzerman 17 Netherlands NED
3 h5 r1/2 Sándor Nagy 15 Hungary HUN
4 h1 r1/2 Borut Petrič 15 Yugoslavia YUG
4 h2 r1/2 Paul Sparkes 15 Great Britain GBR
4 h3 r1/2 István Koczka 17 Hungary HUN
4 h4 r1/2 Michael Ker 18 Canada CAN
4 h5 r1/2 Brett Naylor 19 New Zealand NZL
5 h1 r1/2 Johan Van Steenberghe 19 Belgium BEL
5 h2 r1/2 Stefan Wenz 19 West Germany FRG
5 h3 r1/2 Kevin Williamson 17 Ireland IRL
5 h4 r1/2 Gerhard Waldmann 17 Switzerland SUI
5 h5 r1/2 Mark Treffers 22 New Zealand NZL
6 h1 r1/2 Georgios Karpouzis 18 Greece GRE
6 h2 r1/2 Kris Sumono 17 Indonesia INA
6 h4 r1/2 António de Melo 16 Portugal POR
6 h5 r1/2 José Bas 24 Spain ESP
7 h1 r1/2 Sigurður Ólafsson 21 Iceland ISL
7 h5 r1/2 Edwin Borja 18 Philippines PHI