| Event type

400 metres Freestyle, Men

Date7 – 9 August 1928
LocationZwemstadion, Amsterdam
Participants26 from 17 countries
Olympic Record 5:04.2 / Johnny Weissmuller USA / 18 July 1924

Johnny Weissmuller of the USA was the champion four years earlier in Paris but did not defend his title in Amsterdam. The USA was still well represented by a trio of top class swimmers, Argentina by the New York based Alberto Zorilla and the two other medallists from Paris, Arne Borg and Andrew “Boy” Charlton,returned with strong chances to upgrade their medals to gold. It was Borg who recorded the fastest times in both heat and semi-final as the fancied contenders all the made their way to the final. Borg and Charlton were old rivals and seemed more intent on watching each other than the other swimmers and, although the two men fought for the lead throughout the race, Zorilla was able to move through from an outside draw and win Argentina’s first Olympic swimming championship by two clear seconds. The Argentine was an all-round sportsman, also excelling at rowing, boxing and athletics. His plan to defend his title in Los Angeles was thwarted by illness.

1Alberto ZorrillaARG5:19.2 (1 h6)5:11.4 (1 h1)5:01.6 (1)Gold
2Boy CharltonAUS5:23.0 (2 h5)5:13.6 (2 h1)5:03.6 (2)Silver
3Arne BorgSWE5:09.6 (1 h4)5:05.4 (1 h2)5:04.6 (3)Bronze
4Buster CrabbeUSA5:09.8 (1 h2)5:06.2 (2 h2)5:05.4 (4)
5Austin ClappUSA5:13.4 (1 h1)5:06.8 (3 h2)5:16.0 (5)
6Ray RuddyUSA5:26.4 (2 h4)5:20.6 (3 h1)5:25.0 (6)
4 h1 r2/3Garnet AultCAN5:18.8 (1 h3)– (4 h1)
4 h2 r2/3Katsuo TakaishiJPN5:22.8 (1 h5)– (4 h2)
5 h1 r2/3Hiroshi YoneyamaJPN5:17.8 (2 h2)– (5 h1)
5 h2 r2/3Herbert HeinrichGER5:20.0 (2 h3)– (5 h2)
6 h2 r2/3Albert VandeplanckeFRA5:20.0 (3 h2)– (6 h2)
2 h1 r1/3Nobuo AraiJPN5:23.4 (2 h1)– (DNS h1)
2 h6 r1/3Jack HatfieldGBR5:32.8 (2 h6)– (DNS h1)
3 h1 r1/3Friedel BergesGER5:27.8 (3 h1)
3 h3 r1/3Václav AntošTCH5:39.8 (3 h3)
3 h4 r1/3Walter HandschuhmacherGER5:32.0 (3 h4)
3 h5 r1/3Paolo CostoliITA– (3 h5)
3 h6 r1/3Dave LindsayNZL5:38.6 (3 h6)
4 h1 r1/3Jimmy ThompsonCAN– (4 h1)
4 h2 r1/3Géza SzigritzHUN5:41.0 (4 h2)
4 h3 r1/3Tuburan TamsePHI– (4 h3)
4 h4 r1/3Rezső WaniéHUN5:35.2 (4 h4)
4 h5 r1/3Adán GordónPAN– (4 h5)
4 h6 r1/3Billy BroderickIRL– (4 h6)
5 h2 r1/3Arthur WattsGBR– (5 h2)
5 h5 r1/3Hernán TéllezCHI– (5 h5)
DNSD. D. MuljiIND– (DNS h6)
DNSPaul RadmilovicGBR– (DNS h1)
DNSGiuseppe PerentinITA– (DNS h1)
DNSRenato BacigalupoITA– (DNS h2)
DNSJean TarisFRA– (DNS h3)
DNSR. KratochwilPOL– (DNS h3)
DNSFred RödigerAUT– (DNS h4)

Round One (7 August 1928)

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

Heat One

11Austin ClappUSA5:13.4Q
24Nobuo AraiJPN5:23.4Q
35Friedel BergesGER5:27.8
46Jimmy ThompsonCAN
DNS2Paul RadmilovicGBR
DNS3Giuseppe PerentinITA

Heat Two

11Buster CrabbeUSA5:09.8Q
26Hiroshi YoneyamaJPN5:17.8Q
35Albert VandeplanckeFRA5:20.0q
43Géza SzigritzHUN5:41.0
52Arthur WattsGBR
DNS4Renato BacigalupoITA

Heat Three

13Garnet AultCAN5:18.8Q
21Herbert HeinrichGER5:20.0Q
32Václav AntošTCH5:39.8
44Tuburan TamsePHI
DNS5Jean TarisFRA
DNS6R. KratochwilPOL

Heat Four

12Arne BorgSWE5:09.6Q
23Ray RuddyUSA5:26.4Q
34Walter HandschuhmacherGER5:32.0
41Rezső WaniéHUN5:35.2
DNS5Fred RödigerAUT

Heat Five

12Katsuo TakaishiJPN5:22.8Q
21Boy CharltonAUS5:23.0Q
34Paolo CostoliITA
45Adán GordónPAN
53Hernán TéllezCHI

Heat Six

12Alberto ZorrillaARG5:19.2Q
21Jack HatfieldGBR5:32.8Q
35Dave LindsayNZL5:38.6
43Billy BroderickIRL
DNS4D. D. MuljiIND

Semi-Finals (8 August 1928 — 10:25)

Top three in each heat advanced to the final.

Heat One (10:25)

16Alberto ZorrillaARG5:11.4Q
27Boy CharltonAUS5:13.6Q
35Ray RuddyUSA5:20.6Q
41Garnet AultCAN
54Hiroshi YoneyamaJPN
DNS3Jack HatfieldGBR
DNS2Nobuo AraiJPN

Heat Two (10:40)

12Arne BorgSWE5:05.4Q
26Buster CrabbeUSA5:06.2Q
33Austin ClappUSA5:06.8Q
41Katsuo TakaishiJPN
55Herbert HeinrichGER
64Albert VandeplanckeFRA

Final (9 August 1928 — 16:00)

16Alberto ZorrillaARG5:01.6OR
21Boy CharltonAUS5:03.6
33Arne BorgSWE5:04.6
42Buster CrabbeUSA5:05.4
54Austin ClappUSA5:16.0
65Ray RuddyUSA5:25.0