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| Event type

4 x 200 metres Freestyle Relay, Men

Date2 – 3 August 1948
StatusOlympic
LocationWembley Arena, Wembley, London
Participants61 from 14 countries
Olympic Record 8:51.5 WR / Japan JPN / 11 August 1936

Of the 24 finalists in the individual freestyle events, 14 of them had come from either the USA or Hungary. It was therefore no surprise when the Americans and Hungarians, who broke the European record, posted the fastest qualifying times. The final fitted the expected pattern with the two favourites battling each other for the gold with the other teams hoping for a bronze at best. Three legs of the race were evenly contested but, with 100m to go, the American 400m champion Bill Smith opened up a slender lead which he held to the finish. Both gold and silver medal teams broke the existing world record. The American team recorded a time of 8:55.9 in the qualifying round, which would have been good enough for the bronze in the final, without any of the swimmers who would contest the final. Alex Jany, who had otherwise suffered a disappointing Olympics, steered France home for third ahead of Yugoslavia and the European champions of Sweden

PosSwimmerNOCR1Final
1United StatesUSA8:55.9 (2 h1)8:46.0 (1)Gold
Wally RisJimmy McLaneWally WolfBill SmithBob GibeWilliam DudleyEddie GilbertEugene R. RogersGeorge Hoogerhyde (DNS)
2HungaryHUN8:53.6 (1 h1)8:48.4 (2)Silver
Elemér SzathmáryGyörgy MitróImre NyékiGéza KádasZoltán Szilárd (DNS) • G. Sveda (DNS)
3FranceFRA9:08.8 (1 h2)9:08.0 (3)Bronze
Jo BernardoRené CornuHenri Padou, Jr.Alex JanyFernand Martinaux (DNS) • Georges Vallerey, Jr. (DNS) • Charles Babey (DNS)
4SwedenSWE9:12.9 (3 h2)9:09.1 (4)
Martin LundénPer-Olof ÖstrandOlle JohanssonPer-Olof OlssonHans Hellbrand (DNS) • Bror Ebbe Andersson (DNS)
5YugoslaviaYUG9:12.4 (2 h2)9:14.0 (5)
Vanja IlićCiril PelhanJanko PuharBranko VidovićBoris Škanata (DNS) • Marijan Stipetić (DNS)
6ArgentinaARG9:16.9 (3 h1)9:19.2 (6)
Horacio WhiteJosé DurañonaJuan GarayAlfredo YantornoAugusto CantónAdolfo Mancuso (DNS)
7MexicoMEX9:23.4 (4 h2)9:20.2 (7)
Ramón BravoÁngel MaldonadoApolonio CastilloAlberto IsaacClemente Mejía (DNS) • César Borja (DNS)
8BrazilBRA9:19.9 (4 h1)9:31.0 (8)
Sérgio RodríguesWilly Otto JordanRolf KestenerAram BoghossianPlauto Guimarães (DNS) • Paulo Silva (DNS)
5 h1 r1/2SpainESP9:28.3 (5 h1)
Jesús DomínguezManuel GuerraIsidoro Martínez-VelaIsidoro PérezAlejandro Febrero (DNS)
5 h2 r1/2Great BritainGBR9:26.6 (5 h2)
Roy BothamJack HaleNorman WainwrightJohn HoltRon Stedman (DNS) • Ray Legg (DNS)
6 h1 r1/2PakistanPAK12:25.8 (6 h1)
Anwar Aziz ChaudhryIftikhar Ahmed ShahJaffar Ali ShahSultan Karim AliBryan O'Connell (DNS)
6 h2 r1/2CanadaCAN9:43.2 (6 h2)
Doug GibsonEric JubbAllen GilchristPeter SalmonPeter Mingie (DNS)
7 h2 r1/2EgyptEGY10:25.0 (7 h2)
Ali BagdadiAhmed KandilTaha El-GamalAbdel Aziz KhalifaDorri Abdel Kader (DNS) • Samir Gharbo (DNS)
AC h1 r1/2BermudaBER– (AC h1)DQ
Walter BardgettDerek OatwayRobert CookPhilip TribleyFrank Gosling (DNS) • Donald Shanks (DNS)
DNSAustraliaAUS– (DNS h1)
Garrick AgnewBruce BourkeWarren BoydJohn MarshallHerman DoernerJack Ferguson

Round One (2 August 1948 — 16:00)

Top three in each heat and the next two fastest advanced to the final.

Heat One

PosLaneSwimmerNOCTimeExchange (Pos)
12HungaryHUN8:53.6Q
Géza Kádas– (–)
György Mitró– (–)
Imre Nyéki– (–)
Elemér Szathmáry– (–)
21United StatesUSA8:55.9Q
Bob Gibe– (–)
William Dudley– (–)
Eddie Gilbert– (–)
Eugene R. Rogers– (–)
34ArgentinaARG9:16.9Q
Augusto Cantón– (–)
José Durañona– (–)
Juan Garay– (–)
Alfredo Yantorno– (–)
45BrazilBRA9:19.9q
Sérgio Rodrígues– (–)
Willy Otto Jordan– (–)
Rolf Kestener– (–)
Aram Boghossian– (–)
56SpainESP9:28.3
Jesús Domínguez– (–)
Manuel Guerra– (–)
Isidoro Martínez-Vela– (–)
Isidoro Pérez– (–)
63PakistanPAK12:25.8
Anwar Aziz Chaudhry– (–)
Iftikhar Ahmed Shah– (–)
Jaffar Ali Shah– (–)
Sultan Karim Ali– (–)
AC7BermudaBERDQ
Walter Bardgett– (–)
Derek Oatway– (–)
Robert Cook– (–)
Philip Tribley– (–)
DNS8AustraliaAUS
Garrick Agnew (DNS)– (–)
Bruce Bourke (DNS)– (–)
Warren Boyd (DNS)– (–)
John Marshall (DNS)– (–)
Herman Doerner (DNS)– (–)
Jack Ferguson (DNS)– (–)

Heat Two

PosLaneSwimmerNOCTimeExchange (Pos)
12FranceFRA9:08.8Q
René Cornu– (–)
Alex Jany– (–)
Jo Bernardo– (–)
Henri Padou, Jr.– (–)
24YugoslaviaYUG9:12.4Q
Vanja Ilić– (–)
Ciril Pelhan– (–)
Janko Puhar– (–)
Branko Vidović– (–)
33SwedenSWE9:12.9Q
Olle Johansson– (–)
Martin Lundén– (–)
Per-Olof Olsson– (–)
Per-Olof Östrand– (–)
41MexicoMEX9:23.4q
Ramón Bravo– (–)
Apolonio Castillo– (–)
Ángel Maldonado– (–)
Alberto Isaac– (–)
57Great BritainGBR9:26.6
Roy Botham– (–)
Jack Hale– (–)
Norman Wainwright– (–)
John Holt– (–)
66CanadaCAN9:43.2
Doug Gibson– (–)
Eric Jubb– (–)
Allen Gilchrist– (–)
Peter Salmon– (–)
75EgyptEGY10:25.0
Ali Bagdadi– (–)
Ahmed Kandil– (–)
Taha El-Gamal– (–)
Abdel Aziz Khalifa– (–)

Final (3 August 1948 — 19:00)

PosLaneSwimmerNOCTimeExchange (Pos)
14United StatesUSA8:46.0WR
Wally Ris– (–)
Jimmy McLane– (–)
Wally Wolf– (–)
Bill Smith– (–)
25HungaryHUN8:48.4
Elemér Szathmáry– (–)
György Mitró– (–)
Imre Nyéki– (–)
Géza Kádas– (–)
36FranceFRA9:08.0
Jo Bernardo– (–)
René Cornu– (–)
Henri Padou, Jr.– (–)
Alex Jany– (–)
47SwedenSWE9:09.1
Martin Lundén– (–)
Per-Olof Östrand– (–)
Olle Johansson– (–)
Per-Olof Olsson– (–)
53YugoslaviaYUG9:14.0
Vanja Ilić– (–)
Ciril Pelhan– (–)
Janko Puhar– (–)
Branko Vidović– (–)
62ArgentinaARG9:19.2
Horacio White– (–)
José Durañona– (–)
Juan Garay– (–)
Alfredo Yantorno– (–)
71MexicoMEX9:20.2
Ramón Bravo– (–)
Ángel Maldonado– (–)
Apolonio Castillo– (–)
Alberto Isaac– (–)
88BrazilBRA9:31.0
Sérgio Rodrígues– (–)
Willy Otto Jordan– (–)
Rolf Kestener– (–)
Aram Boghossian– (–)