| Event type

400 metres Freestyle, Men

Date28 – 30 July 1952
LocationHelsingin Uimastadion, Helsinki
Participants48 from 29 countries

Along with the returning 1948 medallists John Marshall and Jimmy McLane, McLane’s American compatriot Ford Konno, Sweden’s Per-Olof Östrand, Hironoshin Furuhashi of Japan and the Frenchman Jean Boiteux were tipped to be medal contenders. Marshall, the Australian world record holder, failed to reach the final and although McLane and Furuhashi both reached the final they filled the final two positions. The battle for the gold came to be decided between Boiteux, Konno and Östrand. The Frenchman led by a small margin over his American rival with the Swede always behind but keeping up the pressure on the leaders. Mindful of Konno’s noted sprint finish, Boiteux made his effort at the 200m mark. By 300m he held pulled out a second on Konno but the American began to fight back. Konno surged back and nearly brought himself level but with fifteen metres to go the American faltered and Boiteux held on to win. Östrand held on to finish third.

Boiteux came from a family of swimmers; his father had been a long distance swimmer whilst his mother and uncle both represented France in the Paris Olympics of 1924. One of the iconic photographs of the 1952 Olympics is of Papa Boiteux, complete with wet beret, being helped out of the pool by his son after he had jumped in to celebrate the victory.

1Jean BoiteuxFRA4:45.1 (1 h4)4:33.1 (1 h1)4:30.7 (1)Gold
2Ford KonnoUSA4:47.9 (2 h5)4:38.6 (1 h3)4:31.3 (2)Silver
3Per-Olof ÖstrandSWE4:38.6 (1 h6)4:33.6 (2 h1)4:35.2 (3)Bronze
4Peter DuncanRSA4:44.0 (2 h8)4:41.7 (2 h3)4:37.9 (4)
5Jack WardropGBR4:43.7 (1 h1)4:41.1 (3 h1)4:39.9 (5)
6Wayne MooreUSA4:43.2 (1 h8)4:42.0 (1 h2)4:40.1 (6)
7Jimmy McLaneUSA4:46.5 (1 h3)4:42.2 (4 h1)4:40.3 (7)
8Hironoshin FuruhashiJPN4:43.3 (1 h2)4:44.2 (3 h3)4:42.1 (8)
9Yasuo TanakaJPN4:44.3 (2 h1)4:44.9 (2 h2)
10Graham JohnstonRSA4:52.3 (2 h4)4:45.5 (5 h1)
11Tetsuo OkamotoBRA4:46.1 (1 h7)4:46.2 (4 h3)
12Gerry McNameeCAN4:53.5 (3 h7)4:46.7 (3 h2)
13Gotfryd GremlowskiPOL4:49.0 (3 h1)4:47.4 (6 h1)
14Yoshio TanakaJPN4:54.0 (3 h8)4:48.0 (7 h1)
15John MarshallAUS4:46.8 (2 h7)4:50.3 (4 h2)
16Allen GilchristCAN4:52.5 (3 h3)4:52.4 (5 h3)
17Dennis FordRSA4:50.2 (2 h3)4:53.6 (5 h2)
18Gusztáv KettesiHUN4:53.0 (2 h6)4:54.2 (6 h3)
19Jo BernardoFRA4:53.5 (4 h1)4:56.0 (6 h2)
20Enrique GranadosESP4:53.7 (4 h3)4:56.2 (7 h3)
21Joris TjebbesNED4:54.4 (3 h5)5:01.9 (8 h1)
22György CsordásHUN4:45.7 (1 h5)– (DNS h2)
23Alfredo YantornoARG4:54.5 (4 h7)– (DNS h2)
24Ronnie BurnsGBR4:55.2 (5 h7)– (DNS h3)
25Garrick AgnewAUS4:55.5 (3 h6)
26Pentti IkonenFIN4:55.7 (5 h1)
27Federico ZwanckARG4:56.4 (5 h3)
28Viktor DrobinskyURS4:56.5 (2 h2)
29Anatoly RaznochintsevURS4:56.8 (3 h4)
30Neo Chwee KokSGP4:57.5 (3 h2)
31Peter SteinwenderAUT5:03.6 (4 h4)
32Peter HeadGBR5:04.2 (5 h4)
33Angelo RomaniITA5:05.1 (4 h8)
34Carlos Alberto BonacichARG5:06.3 (4 h5)
35René MillionFRA5:07.0 (5 h8)
=36Per OlsenNOR5:08.6 (5 h5)
=36Fernando MadeiraPOR5:08.6 (6 h8)
38Pentti PaatsaloFIN5:09.3 (6 h5)
39Ricardo EsberardBRA5:09.5 (6 h3)
40Cheung Kin ManHKG5:11.4 (6 h4)
41Eduardo PriggioneURU5:12.1 (4 h2)
42Roar WoldumNOR5:14.4 (4 h6)
43Geoffrey MarksSRI5:15.2 (6 h1)
44Robert CookBER5:15.4 (7 h5)
45Einari AaltoFIN5:15.8 (5 h6)
46Walter BardgettBER5:18.0 (5 h2)
47Sonny MonteiroHKG5:21.6 (6 h2)
48Walter SchneiderSUI5:27.3 (7 h3)
49Georg MascettiSAA5:31.2 (7 h1)
50Nguyễn Văn PhanVNM5:36.5 (6 h7)
51Muhammad RamzanPAK5:45.7 (7 h8)
DNSHernán AvilésCHI– (DNS h7)
DNSJack HakimEGY– (DNS h3)
DNSEfrén FierroMEX– (DNS h8)
DNSTonatiuh GutiérrezMEX– (DNS h2)
DNSCésar BorjaMEX– (DNS h6)
DNSSambiao BasanungPHI– (DNS h4)
DNSAbdel Aziz El-ShafeiEGY– (DNS h7)
DNSYury ShlyapinURS– (DNS h6)

Round One (28 July 1952 — 17:00)

Fastest 16 advanced to the semi-finals.

Heat One

15Jack WardropGBR4:43.7Q
24Yasuo TanakaJPN4:44.3Q
32Gotfryd GremlowskiPOL4:49.0Q
43Jo BernardoFRA4:53.5Q
56Pentti IkonenFIN4:55.7
61Geoffrey MarksSRI5:15.2
77Georg MascettiSAA5:31.2

Heat Two

16Hironoshin FuruhashiJPN4:43.3Q
23Viktor DrobinskyURS4:56.5
34Neo Chwee KokSGP4:57.5
42Eduardo PriggioneURU5:12.1
51Walter BardgettBER5:18.0
65Sonny MonteiroHKG5:21.6
DNS7Tonatiuh GutiérrezMEX

Heat Three

15Jimmy McLaneUSA4:46.5Q
21Dennis FordRSA4:50.2Q
34Allen GilchristCAN4:52.5Q
46Enrique GranadosESP4:53.7Q
52Federico ZwanckARG4:56.4
68Ricardo EsberardBRA5:09.5
73Walter SchneiderSUI5:27.3
DNS7Jack HakimEGY

Heat Four

14Jean BoiteuxFRA4:45.1Q
27Graham JohnstonRSA4:52.3Q
31Anatoly RaznochintsevURS4:56.8
45Peter SteinwenderAUT5:03.6
52Peter HeadGBR5:04.2
66Cheung Kin ManHKG5:11.4
DNS3Sambiao BasanungPHI

Heat Five

11György CsordásHUN4:45.7Q
25Ford KonnoUSA4:47.9Q
36Joris TjebbesNED4:54.4Q
43Carlos Alberto BonacichARG5:06.3
52Per OlsenNOR5:08.6
67Pentti PaatsaloFIN5:09.3
74Robert CookBER5:15.4

Heat Six

15Per-Olof ÖstrandSWE4:38.6QOR
21Gusztáv KettesiHUN4:53.0Q
36Garrick AgnewAUS4:55.5
43Roar WoldumNOR5:14.4
54Einari AaltoFIN5:15.8
DNS2César BorjaMEX
DNS7Yury ShlyapinURS

Heat Seven

11Tetsuo OkamotoBRA4:46.1Q
23John MarshallAUS4:46.8Q
36Gerry McNameeCAN4:53.5Q
47Alfredo YantornoARG4:54.5Q
55Ronnie BurnsGBR4:55.2Q
68Nguyễn Văn PhanVNM5:36.5
DNS2Hernán AvilésCHI
DNS4Abdel Aziz El-ShafeiEGY

Heat Eight

11Wayne MooreUSA4:43.2Q
22Peter DuncanRSA4:44.0Q
33Yoshio TanakaJPN4:54.0Q
45Angelo RomaniITA5:05.1
54René MillionFRA5:07.0
66Fernando MadeiraPOR5:08.6
78Muhammad RamzanPAK5:45.7
DNS7Efrén FierroMEX

Semi-Finals (29 July 1952 — 10:00)

Fastest eight advanced to the final.

Heat One

1Jean BoiteuxFRA4:33.1QOR
2Per-Olof ÖstrandSWE4:33.6Q
3Jack WardropGBR4:41.1Q
4Jimmy McLaneUSA4:42.2Q
5Graham JohnstonRSA4:45.5
6Gotfryd GremlowskiPOL4:47.4
7Yoshio TanakaJPN4:48.0
8Joris TjebbesNED5:01.9

Heat Two

1Wayne MooreUSA4:42.0Q
2Yasuo TanakaJPN4:44.9
3Gerry McNameeCAN4:46.7
4John MarshallAUS4:50.3
5Dennis FordRSA4:53.6
6Jo BernardoFRA4:56.0
DNSGyörgy CsordásHUN
DNSAlfredo YantornoARG

Heat Three

1Ford KonnoUSA4:38.6Q
2Peter DuncanRSA4:41.7Q
3Hironoshin FuruhashiJPN4:44.2Q
4Tetsuo OkamotoBRA4:46.2
5Allen GilchristCAN4:52.4
6Gusztáv KettesiHUN4:54.2
7Enrique GranadosESP4:56.2
DNSRonnie BurnsGBR

Final (30 July 1952 — 17:00)

1Jean BoiteuxFRA4:30.7OR
2Ford KonnoUSA4:31.3
3Per-Olof ÖstrandSWE4:35.2
4Peter DuncanRSA4:37.9
5Jack WardropGBR4:39.9
6Wayne MooreUSA4:40.1
7Jimmy McLaneUSA4:40.3
8Hironoshin FuruhashiJPN4:42.1