| Event type

1,500 metres Freestyle, Men

Date31 July – 2 August 1952
LocationHelsingin Uimastadion, Helsinki
Participants37 from 22 countries

Hironoshin Furuhashi of Japan had been the outstanding long distance freestyle swimmer since the last Olympics but was probably past his best by 1952. His preparations for Helsinki were ruined by a bout of malaria and his Olympic career was limited to a below-par swim in the 400m. The standard of competition was high, 400m champion Jean Boiteux went below the pre-Games Olympic record but failed to reach the final. The fastest qualifiers for the final were Shiro Hashizume of Japan and the Japanese-American Ford Konno, another from the great Hawaiian tradition of swimmers, and these two continued their form into the final. Hashizume went off into a lead but was gradually pulled back by Konno. At 1200m Konno moved level with the Japanese swimmer and then forged ahead as Hashizume’s fast start had drained his stamina. Konno eventually finished ten seconds clear of Hashizume whilst a frantic battle for third place saw Tetsuo Okamoto, a Brazilian of Japanese parentage, edge out the 1948 champion Jimmy McLane to complete an unusual “Japanese” sweep of the medals.

1Ford KonnoUSA18:53.7 (1 h5)18:30.3 (1)Gold
2Shiro HashizumeJPN18:34.0 (1 h1)18:41.4 (2)Silver
3Tetsuo OkamotoBRA19:05.6 (1 h3)18:51.3 (3)Bronze
4Jimmy McLaneUSA19:09.3 (1 h2)18:51.5 (4)
5Jo BernardoFRA19:06.5 (2 h5)18:59.1 (5)
6Yasuo KitamuraJPN19:10.3 (3 h6)19:00.4 (6)
7Peter DuncanRSA19:03.5 (1 h6)19:12.1 (7)
8John MarshallAUS19:09.2 (2 h6)19:53.4 (8)
9Jean BoiteuxFRA19:12.3 (1 h4)
10Gotfryd GremlowskiPOL19:17.5 (2 h1)
11Heinz-Günther LehmannGER19:17.9 (2 h2)
12Tonatiuh GutiérrezMEX19:18.9 (3 h1)
13Bill WoolseyUSA19:24.6 (2 h4)
14György CsordásHUN19:26.2 (2 h3)
15Sylvio dos SantosBRA19:26.8 (4 h1)
16Yukiyoshi AokiJPN19:27.0 (3 h3)
17Graham JohnstonRSA19:27.1 (5 h1)
18Dennis FordRSA19:27.6 (3 h5)
19César BorjaMEX19:43.3 (3 h4)
20Enrique GranadosESP19:45.9 (4 h6)
21Efrén FierroMEX19:55.8 (3 h2)
22Bob SreenanGBR19:59.2 (4 h4)
23Gerry McNameeCAN20:02.5 (6 h1)
24Garrick AgnewAUS20:03.8 (4 h2)
25Vladimer Lavrinenk'oURS20:07.8 (5 h4)
26Allen GilchristCAN20:08.3 (4 h5)
27Endel PressURS20:11.7 (4 h3)
28Cheung Kin ManHKG20:50.2 (6 h4)
29Sambiao BasanungPHI20:58.6 (7 h1)
30Geoffrey MarksSRI20:59.4 (5 h6)
31Robert CookBER20:59.6 (6 h6)
32Eduardo PriggioneURU21:11.9 (7 h4)
33Roar WoldumNOR21:19.5 (7 h6)
34Walter SchneiderSUI21:36.2 (5 h2)
35Walter BardgettBER21:42.4 (5 h3)
36Sonny MonteiroHKG22:26.7 (6 h3)
37Muhammad RamzanPAK23:44.3 (6 h2)
DNSGeorg MascettiSAA– (DNS h2)
DNSAbdel Aziz El-ShafeiEGY– (DNS h3)
DNSDezső LemhényiHUN– (DNS h5)
DNSValentin ProkopovURS– (DNS h5)

Round One (31 July 1952 — 10:00)

Fastest eight advanced to the final.

Heat One (10:00)

11Shiro HashizumeJPN18:34.0QOR
22Gotfryd GremlowskiPOL19:17.5
33Tonatiuh GutiérrezMEX19:18.9
44Sylvio dos SantosBRA19:26.8
55Graham JohnstonRSA19:27.1
66Gerry McNameeCAN20:02.5
77Sambiao BasanungPHI20:58.6

Heat Two

16Jimmy McLaneUSA19:09.3Q
21Heinz-Günther LehmannGER19:17.9
32Efrén FierroMEX19:55.8
45Garrick AgnewAUS20:03.8
57Walter SchneiderSUI21:36.2
63Muhammad RamzanPAK23:44.3
DNS4Georg MascettiSAA

Heat Three

13Tetsuo OkamotoBRA19:05.6Q
21György CsordásHUN19:26.2
34Yukiyoshi AokiJPN19:27.0
45Endel PressURS20:11.7
57Walter BardgettBER21:42.4
62Sonny MonteiroHKG22:26.7
DNS6Abdel Aziz El-ShafeiEGY

Heat Four

13Jean BoiteuxFRA19:12.3
25Bill WoolseyUSA19:24.6
31César BorjaMEX19:43.3
47Bob SreenanGBR19:59.2
52Vladimer Lavrinenk'oURS20:07.8
66Cheung Kin ManHKG20:50.2
74Eduardo PriggioneURU21:11.9

Heat Five (17:00)

17Ford KonnoUSA18:53.7Q
25Jo BernardoFRA19:06.5Q
33Dennis FordRSA19:27.6
46Allen GilchristCAN20:08.3
DNS2Dezső LemhényiHUN
DNS4Valentin ProkopovURS

Heat Six

11Peter DuncanRSA19:03.5Q
26John MarshallAUS19:09.2Q
37Yasuo KitamuraJPN19:10.3Q
42Enrique GranadosESP19:45.9
55Geoffrey MarksSRI20:59.4
64Robert CookBER20:59.6
73Roar WoldumNOR21:19.5

Final (2 August 1952 — 17:00)

15Ford KonnoUSA18:30.3OR
24Shiro HashizumeJPN18:41.4
36Tetsuo OkamotoBRA18:51.3
41Jimmy McLaneUSA18:51.5
52Jo BernardoFRA18:59.1
68Yasuo KitamuraJPN19:00.4
73Peter DuncanRSA19:12.1
87John MarshallAUS19:53.4