| Event type

400 metres Freestyle, Women

Date4 – 6 August 1928
LocationZwemstadion, Amsterdam
Participants20 from 10 countries

The reigning champion, Martha Norelius of the USA, had improved considerably since Paris and entered the Games as a hot favourite. Norelius lived up to her reputation by smashing the world record in her heat although a rival emerged in the form of the teenaged European champion Zus Braun from the host country, who was the only other competitor to break the six minute barrier. The Dutchwoman continued to impress in the semi-final but the American was a dominant force in the final and improved her own record again. To the approval of the Dutch crowd, Braun took the silver medal ahead of Josephine McKim of the USA. Norelius later married the rower Joe Wright, Jr., who won a silver medal for Canada at these same games, although the two eventually divorced.

1Martha NoreliusUSA5:45.4 (1 h1)5:58.0 (1 h1)5:42.8 (1)Gold
2Zus BraunNED5:53.8 (1 h4)5:54.6 (1 h2)5:57.8 (2)Silver
3Josephine McKimUSA6:10.0 (1 h3)5:55.0 (2 h2)6:00.2 (3)Bronze
4Cissie StewartGBR6:12.2 (2 h1)6:06.4 (3 h1)6:07.0 (4)
5Freddie van der GoesRSA6:03.6 (2 h4)6:01.6 (2 h1)6:07.2 (5)
6Vera TannerGBR6:11.0 (2 h2)6:09.0 (3 h2)6:11.6 (6)
4 h1 r2/3Ethel McGaryUSA6:04.6 (1 h2)– (4 h1)
4 h2 r2/3Edith MayneGBR6:10.4 (3 h4)– (4 h2)
5 h1 r2/3Kay MillerNZL6:16.8 (2 h3)– (5 h1)
3 h1 r1/3Truus BaumeisterNED6:26.4 (3 h1)
3 h2 r1/3Edna DaveyAUS6:12.0 (3 h2)
3 h3 r1/3Fritzi LöwyAUT6:20.0 (3 h3)
4 h1 r1/3Marguerite LedouxFRA– (4 h1)
4 h2 r1/3Lotte LehmannGER6:28.0 (4 h2)
4 h3 r1/3Disa LindbergFIN– (4 h3)
4 h4 r1/3Reni ErkensGER– (4 h4)
5 h1 r1/3Mary BedfordRSA– (5 h1)
5 h2 r1/3Rhoda RennieRSA– (5 h2)
6 h1 r1/3Dora SchönemannGER6:37.0 (6 h1)
6 h2 r1/3Georgina RotyFRA– (6 h2)
DNSMarguerite DockrellIRL– (DNS h3)
DNSHalina IżyckaPOL– (DNS h4)

Round One (4 August 1928 — 16:10)

Top two in each heat and the next fastest advanced to the semi-finals.

Heat One

13Martha NoreliusUSA5:45.4QOR
24Cissie StewartGBR6:12.2Q
36Truus BaumeisterNED6:26.4
45Marguerite LedouxFRA
51Mary BedfordRSA
62Dora SchönemannGER6:37.0

Heat Two

13Ethel McGaryUSA6:04.6Q
22Vera TannerGBR6:11.0Q
35Edna DaveyAUS6:12.0
44Lotte LehmannGER6:28.0
51Rhoda RennieRSA
66Georgina RotyFRA

Heat Three

15Josephine McKimUSA6:10.0Q
21Kay MillerNZL6:16.8Q
32Fritzi LöwyAUT6:20.0
44Disa LindbergFIN
DNS3Marguerite DockrellIRL

Heat Four

12Zus BraunNED5:53.8Q
23Freddie van der GoesRSA6:03.6Q
31Edith MayneGBR6:10.4q
45Reni ErkensGER
DNS4Halina IżyckaPOL

Semi-Finals (5 August 1928 — 15:10)

Top three in each heat advanced to the final.

Heat One (15:10)

14Martha NoreliusUSA5:58.0Q
22Freddie van der GoesRSA6:01.6Q
35Cissie StewartGBR6:06.4Q
43Ethel McGaryUSA
51Kay MillerNZL

Heat Two (15:25)

12Zus BraunNED5:54.6Q
21Josephine McKimUSA5:55.0Q
34Vera TannerGBR6:09.0Q
43Edith MayneGBR

Final (6 August 1928 — 13:45)

13Martha NoreliusUSA5:42.8WR
26Zus BraunNED5:57.8
35Josephine McKimUSA6:00.2
42Cissie StewartGBR6:07.0
51Freddie van der GoesRSA6:07.2
64Vera TannerGBR6:11.6