In 1962, Johan Bontekoe became the first male Dutch swimmer to win a European title since 1938. In a close fight with Hans Rosendahl, he defeated the Swede to win the 400 m freestyle. Although he qualified for the Rome Olympics with the 4 x 200 m relay team, the Dutch federation did not enter the team for the Games. Bontekoe did qualify for Tokyo, where he was eliminated in the heats of the 400 m freestyle. In his own country, Bontekoe was the dominant long distance swimmer, winning 14 national titles and breaking a national record 28 times. Earning a living in the banking world, Bontekoe was involved with the Dutch swimming federation in several position. He died at age 62 of pneumonia, after several years of ill health.