| Event type

400 metres Freestyle, Men

Date11 – 14 July 1912
LocationSimstadion, Djurgårdsbrunnsviken, Stockholm
Participants26 from 13 countries
Olympic Record 5:36.8 / Henry Taylor GBR / 16 July 1908

The world record over 440 yards was held by Australia’s Frank Beaurepaire, who had won the silver medal in this event at London in 1908. Beaurepaire competed at the 1920 and 1924 Olympic Games as well, but he did not compete in Stockholm as he was declared a professional in 1911 for having lectured on swimming and lifesaving. Australia’s best hope in this event was Harold Hardwick, who had won the 1911 Amateur Swimming Association (ASA - Great Britain) title over 440 yards. Hardwick later won the Australian professional heavyweight boxing champion in 1915.

But the victory went to Canada’s George Hodgson, who had won the 1,500 metres only four days earlier. Hodgson had come to prominence in 1910 when he won every race he entered at the Canadian Championships. In 1911 he won the mile race at the Festival of the Empire Games in London (GBR), entering McGill University (Montreal) upon his return. In 1912, he again swept his events at the Canadian Championships, while representing the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association (MAAA). With the outbreak of World War I, Hodgson travelled to England where he joined the Royal Air Force (RAF). During his military career, he won the AFC and the London Board of Trade Silver Medal for rescues made at sea. Upon his return to Canada, he resumed his swimming career, and competed at the 1920 Olympics, but in the 400 and 1,500 metre freestyle races at Antwerp, he failed to make the final. Second-place finisher John Hatfield would later win the ASA title in 1912 and 1913.

1George HodgsonCAN5:50.6 (1 h6)5:25.4 (1 h1)5:24.4 (1)Gold
2Jack HatfieldGBR5:35.6 (2 h5)5:25.6 (2 h1)5:25.8 (2)Silver
3Harold HardwickANZ5:36.0 (1 h1)5:31.0 (1 h2)5:31.2 (3)Bronze
4Cecil HealyANZ5:34.0 (1 h5)5:37.8 (3 h2)5:37.8 (4)
5Béla Las-TorresHUN5:36.2 (1 h4)5:34.8 (2 h2)5:42.0 (5)
3 h1 r2/3Willie FosterGBR5:52.4 (2 h6)5:49.0 (3 h1)
4 h1 r2/3Nick NerichUSA5:50.4 (3 h3)5:51.0 (4 h1)
4 h2 r2/3Malcolm ChampionANZ5:37.0 (2 h1)5:38.0 (4 h2)
5 h1 r2/3Sydney BattersbyGBR6:03.6 (1 h2)5:51.2 (5 h1)
5 h2 r2/3Henry TaylorGBR5:48.4 (2 h4)5:48.2 (5 h2)
6 h1 r2/3John JohnsenNOR6:14.4 (2 h2)– (6 h1)
1 h3 r1/3Max RitterGER5:44.6 (1 h3)– (DNS h1)
2 h3 r1/3Alajos KenyéryHUN5:46.0 (2 h3)– (DNS h2)
3 h1 r1/3Jim ReillyUSA6:10.2 (3 h1)
3 h2 r1/3Eskil WedholmSWE6:29.8 (3 h2)
3 h5 r1/3Franz SchuhAUT6:09.4 (3 h5)
3 h6 r1/3Oskar SchieleGER5:57.0 (3 h6)
4 h1 r1/3Nils-Erik HaglundSWE6:23.4 (4 h1)
4 h6 r1/3George GodfreyRSA6:30.6 (4 h6)
5 h1 r1/3Davide BaiardoITA– (5 h1)
5 h6 r1/3Harry HedegaardDEN7:07.8 (5 h6)
AC h1 r1/3Mario MassaITA– (AC h1)DNF
AC h2 r1/3Pavel AvksentyevRUS– (AC h2)DNF
AC h3 r1/3Theo TartakoverANZ– (AC h3)DNF
AC h3 r1/3David TheanderSWE– (AC h3)DNF
AC h4 r1/3Nikolay VoronkovRUS– (AC h4)DNF
DNSLes BoardmanANZ– (DNS h2)
DNSBill LongworthANZ– (DNS h3)
DNSOtto ScheffAUT– (DNS h4)
DNSJosef ScheiblerAUT– (DNS h2)
DNSWolfgang SillerAUT– (DNS h1)
DNSJoseph PletincxBEL– (DNS h6)
DNSJosef ČernÿBOH– (DNS h6)
DNSS. MatuchaBOH– (DNS h3)
DNSHenri DecoinFRA– (DNS h2)
DNSGérard MeisterFRA– (DNS h6)
DNSGeorges RigalFRA– (DNS h3)
DNSJean RodierFRA– (DNS h1)
DNSÉmile BangerterFRA– (DNS h3)
DNSHenri DuboisFRA– (DNS h6)
DNSGeorges HermantFRA– (DNS h1)
DNSMarcel PernotFRA– (DNS h3)
DNSRené VoisardFRA– (DNS h2)
DNSIsaac BenthamGBR– (DNS h1)
DNSOtto FahrGER– (DNS h4)
DNSAndreas AsimakopoulosGRE– (DNS h5)
DNSImre ZachárHUN– (DNS h5)
DNSVirgilio BellazzaITA– (DNS h3)
DNSAttilio BellezzaITA– (DNS h2)
DNSAldo CigheriITA– (DNS h3)
DNSMario PortolongoITA– (DNS h6)
DNSHarry SvendsenNOR– (DNS h3)
DNSHerbert WetterNOR– (DNS h6)
DNSViktor BaranovRUS– (DNS h3)
DNSAleksey AndreyevRUS– (DNS h6)
DNSIlarion BorisovskyRUS– (DNS h3)
DNSRobert AnderssonSWE– (DNS h1)
DNSWille AnderssonSWE– (DNS h3)
DNSGustav CollinSWE– (DNS h2)
DNSBudd GoodwinUSA– (DNS h6)
DNSHarry HebnerUSA– (DNS h4)
DNSKen HuszaghUSA– (DNS h5)
DNSPerry McGillivrayUSA– (DNS h3)
DNSLeslie RichUSA– (DNS h2)
DNSRichard FrizellUSA– (DNS h3)
DNSLincoln JohnsonUSA– (DNS h6)
DNSJack MantellUSA– (DNS h2)
DNSJohn ShyrockUSA– (DNS h1)

Round One1 (11 July 1912 — 12:10)

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

Heat One

1Harold HardwickANZ5:36.0QOR
2Malcolm ChampionANZ5:37.0Q
3Jim ReillyUSA6:10.2
4Nils-Erik HaglundSWE6:23.4
5Davide BaiardoITA
DNSWolfgang SillerAUT2
DNSJean RodierFRA3
DNSGeorges HermantFRA4
DNSIsaac BenthamGBR5
DNSRobert AnderssonSWE6
DNSJohn ShyrockUSA7

Heat Two

1Sydney BattersbyGBR6:03.6Q
2John JohnsenNOR6:14.4Q
3Eskil WedholmSWE6:29.8
ACPavel AvksentyevRUSDNF
DNSLes BoardmanANZ8
DNSJosef ScheiblerAUT9
DNSHenri DecoinFRA10
DNSRené VoisardFRA11
DNSAttilio BellezzaITA12
DNSGustav CollinSWE13
DNSLeslie RichUSA14
DNSJack MantellUSA15

Heat Three

1Max RitterGER5:44.6Q
2Alajos KenyéryHUN5:46.0Q
3Nick NerichUSA5:50.4q
ACDavid TheanderSWEDNF
ACTheo TartakoverANZDNF
DNSBill LongworthANZ16
DNSS. MatuchaBOH17
DNSGeorges RigalFRA18
DNSÉmile BangerterFRA19
DNSMarcel PernotFRA20
DNSVirgilio BellazzaITA21
DNSAldo CigheriITA22
DNSHarry SvendsenNOR23
DNSViktor BaranovRUS24
DNSIlarion BorisovskyRUS25
DNSWille AnderssonSWE26
DNSPerry McGillivrayUSA27
DNSRichard FrizellUSA28

Heat Four

1Béla Las-TorresHUN5:36.2Q
2Henry TaylorGBR5:48.4Q
ACNikolay VoronkovRUSDNF
DNSOtto ScheffAUT
DNSHarry HebnerUSA

Heat Five

1Cecil HealyANZ5:34.0QOR
2Jack HatfieldGBR5:35.6Q
3Franz SchuhAUT6:09.4
DNSAndreas AsimakopoulosGRE
DNSImre ZachárHUN
DNSKen HuszaghUSA

Heat Six

1George HodgsonCAN5:50.6Q
2Willie FosterGBR5:52.4Q
3Oskar SchieleGER5:57.0
4George GodfreyRSA6:30.6
5Harry HedegaardDEN7:07.8
DNSJoseph PletincxBEL29
DNSJosef ČernÿBOH30
DNSGérard MeisterFRA31
DNSHenri DuboisFRA32
DNSMario PortolongoITA33
DNSHerbert WetterNOR34
DNSAleksey AndreyevRUS35
DNSBudd GoodwinUSA36
DNSLincoln JohnsonUSA37

Semi-Finals (13 July 1912 — 19:00)

Top two in each heat and the fastest third-place advanced to the final.

Heat One

1George HodgsonCAN5:25.4QOR
2Jack HatfieldGBR5:25.6Q
3Willie FosterGBR5:49.0
4Nick NerichUSA5:51.0
5Sydney BattersbyGBR5:51.2
6John JohnsenNOR
DNSMax RitterGER

Heat Two

1Harold HardwickANZ5:31.0Q
2Béla Las-TorresHUN5:34.8Q
3Cecil HealyANZ5:37.8q
4Malcolm ChampionANZ5:38.0
5Henry TaylorGBR5:48.2
DNSAlajos KenyéryHUN

Final (14 July 1912 — 19:00)

1George HodgsonCAN5:24.4OR
2Jack HatfieldGBR5:25.8
3Harold HardwickANZ5:31.2
4Cecil HealyANZ5:37.8
5Béla Las-TorresHUN5:42.0