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Yoshiyuki Tsuruta

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 2
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 2
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameYoshiyuki•Tsuruta
Used nameYoshiyuki•Tsuruta
Original name鶴田•義行
Born1 October 1903 in Ishiki, Kagoshima, Kagoshima (JPN)
Died24 July 1986
AffiliationsHochi Shimbun, Minato (JPN) / South Manchuria Railway, Manchuria (CHN)
NOC Japan


After his victory in 1928 in the 200 metre breaststroke, Yoshiyuki Tsuruta won another gold medal at Los Angeles in 1932. Until 2008, when his countryman Kosuke Kitajima won his second gold medal in this event, he was the only man to repeat as gold medalist in the 200 meter breaststroke. In 1929 Tsuruta set a world record of 2:45.0 min. Surprisingly, he placed only third at the 1930 Far Eastern Games.

Tsuruta first worked for the Government Railways, but voluntarily joined the Imperial Navy in 1924 for several years, where he took up swimming seriously. In 1925, he earned his first of six consecutive titles in the 200 m breaststroke at the Japan Swimming Championships. Additionally, he won five titles in the 100 m breaststroke. Beginning in 1929, Tsuruta studied law at Meiji University. Subsequently he worked for the Southern Manchuria Railway company and as a physical education teacher for the Municipality of Nagoya. During World War II he was called back into service. After the war he joined a newspaper in the town of Ehime, where he became a coach and a sports administrator. In 1949 Tsuruta advocated for the introduction of swimming into the official education curriculum in Japan. At the age of 82, he died of a stroke.

Tsuruta was admitted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1968 and was awarded the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun. In 1980 he received the Olympic Order in Silver.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1928 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) JPN Yoshiyuki Tsuruta
200 metres Breaststroke, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
1932 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) JPN Yoshiyuki Tsuruta
200 metres Breaststroke, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold

Special Notes