Athletics at the 1960 Summer Olympics – Men's 1500 metres

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Men's 1500 metres
at the Games of the XVII Olympiad
Venue Olympic Stadium
Dates September 3 (final) (heats)
September 6 (final)
Competitors 39
1st, gold medalist(s) Herb Elliott
2nd, silver medalist(s) Michel Jazy
3rd, bronze medalist(s) István Rózsavölgyi
← 1956
1964 →
Athletics at the
1960 Summer Olympics
Olympic Athletics.png
Track events
100 m   men   women
200 m men women
400 m men
800 m men women
1500 m men
5000 m men
10,000 m men
80 m hurdles women
110 m hurdles men
400 m hurdles men
3000 m
4×100 m relay men women
4×400 m relay men
Road events
Marathon men
20 km walk men
50 km walk men
Field events
Long jump men women
Triple jump men
High jump men women
Pole vault men
Shot put men women
Discus throw men women
Javelin throw men women
Hammer throw men
Combined events
Decathlon men

The 1500 final was much more of an endurance race than contemporary strategic races. Michel Jazy took the lead from the beginning and dared the field to stay with him. Arne Hamarsland and Jim Grelle struggled as the pack strung out quickly. With two laps to go, Herb Elliott upped the ante, taking the lead and pushing the pace. István Rózsavölgyi was the last to drop off with Jazy close behind Rózsavölgyi. But Elliott was gone, cleanly ahead going into the final lap. Waiting on the final backstretch, his coach Percy Cerutty prearranged that he would wave a yellow towel if Elliott was in danger of being caught from behind or close to the world record. A confused Elliott saw the towel and accelerated, pushing hard to the finish. Elliott's three second victory took an additional half second out of his own world record. His record would last for seven years before being improved upon by Jim Ryun. Behind Elliott, Jazy managed to catch Rózsavölgyi for the silver medal.



The fastest three runners in each of the three heats advanced to the final round.

Heat one

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 Herb Elliott  Australia 3:41.50
2 István Rózsavölgyi  Hungary 3:42.15
3 Dyrol Burleson  United States 3:42.40
4 Terry Sullivan  Rhodesia 3:42.96
5 Yevgeny Momotkov  Soviet Union 3:43.80
6 Olavi Salonen  Finland 3:46.57
7 Rudolf Klaban  Austria 3:47.24
8 Arthur Hannemann  United Team of Germany 3:47.57
9 Laurie Reed  Great Britain 3:48.24
10 Joe Mullins  Canada 3:53.45
11 Tomás Barris  Spain 3:56.10
12 Mohamed Gouider  Tunisia 3:58.52
- Zbigniew Orywał  Poland DNF

Heat two

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 Michel Bernard  France 3:42.34
2 Jim Grelle  United States 3:43.65
3 Arne Hamarsland  Norway 3:44.63
4 Brian Kent-Smith  Great Britain 3:46.21
5 Albie Thomas  Australia 3:46.95
6 Siegfried Valentin  United Team of Germany 3:46.99
7 Svavar Markússon  Iceland 3:47.20
8 Alfredo Rizzo  Italy 3:47.56
9 Andrei Barabaş  Romania 3:47.71
10 Muharrem Dalkılıç  Turkey 3:47.18
11 Dhira Phiphobmongkol  Thailand 4:24.4
- Péter Parsch  Hungary DNF
- Egon Oehri  Liechtenstein DNF

Heat three

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 Dan Waern  Sweden 3:44.18
2 Michel Jazy  France 3:45.03
3 Zoltan Vamoş  Romania 3:45.07
4 Adolf Schwarte  United Team of Germany 3:45.46
5 Lajos Kovács  Hungary 3:46.20
6 Mike Wiggs  Great Britain 3:46.61
7 Merv Lincoln  Australia 3:47.18
8 Evangelos Depastas  Greece 3:48.77
9 Pete Close  United States 3:50.69
10 Olavi Vuorisalo  Finland 3:52.68
11 Stefan Lewandowski  Poland 3:59.75
12 Yair Pantilat  Israel 4:00.14
13 Kassim Mukhtar  Iraq 4:00.33


Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1st, gold medalist(s) Herb Elliott  Australia 3:35.6 WR
2nd, silver medalist(s) Michel Jazy  France 3:38.4
3rd, bronze medalist(s) István Rózsavölgyi  Hungary 3:39.2
4 Dan Waern  Sweden 3:40.0
5 Zoltan Vamoş  Romania 3:40.8
6 Dyrol Burleson  United States 3:40.9
7 Michel Bernard  France 3:41.5
8 Jim Grelle  United States 3:45.0
9 Arne Hamarsland  Norway 3:45.0

Key: WR = world record; DNF = did not finish