| Event type

200 metres Breaststroke, Men

Date31 July – 2 August 1952
LocationHelsingin Uimastadion, Helsinki
Participants40 from 27 countries

For the first and last time in Olympic breaststroke history every finalist used the butterfly stroke as by the next Olympic Games the butterfly would be contested as a separate event. Although the German world record holder Herbert Klein was in the field there was no clear favourite for this race and the evenly matched performances of some of the main contenders in the heats and semi-finals did not help to resolve the issue of favouritism. Klein led the final at the halfway stage but was passed by Australia’s John Davies and Bowen Stassforth of the USA over the second half of the race. Although Davies had finished fourth in this event in 1948 in London, his victory in Helsinki was unexpected.

1John DaviesAUS2:39.7 (1 h2)2:36.8 (1 h1)2:34.4 (1)Gold
2Bo StassforthUSA2:39.3 (1 h4)2:38.7 (3 h2)2:34.7 (2)Silver
3Herbert KleinGER2:37.0 (1 h6)2:37.0 (1 h2)2:35.9 (3)Bronze
4Nobuyasu HirayamaJPN2:41.5 (3 h5)2:39.1 (3 h1)2:37.4 (4)
5Takayoshi KajikawaJPN2:39.6 (3 h3)2:37.3 (2 h2)2:38.6 (5)
6Jiro NagasawaJPN2:40.4 (2 h2)2:39.0 (4 h2)2:39.1 (6)
7Maurice LusienFRA2:40.9 (2 h5)2:39.1 (5 h2)2:39.8 (7)
8Ľudovít KomadelTCH2:38.9 (1 h3)2:38.8 (2 h1)2:40.1 (8)
9Jerry HolanUSA2:36.8 (1 h5)2:39.2 (4 h1)
10David HawkinsAUS2:41.2 (2 h4)2:39.8 (6 h2)
11Monte NitzkowskiUSA2:40.6 (1 h1)2:41.4 (5 h1)
12Nikola TrojanovićYUG2:42.4 (3 h2)2:41.8 (7 h2)
13Daan BuijzeNED2:41.9 (2 h6)2:42.6 (6 h1)
14Orlando CossaniARG2:39.6 (2 h3)2:43.1 (7 h1)
15Leo PortelanceCAN2:42.5 (3 h4)2:43.8 (8 h1)
16Vladimir BorisenkoURS2:43.2 (3 h6)2:46.2 (8 h2)
17Pierre JolyFRA2:43.4 (2 h1)
18Aulis KähkönenFIN2:43.8 (4 h6)
19Marek PetrusewiczPOL2:44.0 (3 h1)
20Manuel SanguilyCUB2:44.5 (5 h6)
21Walter OcampoMEX2:44.8 (4 h3)
22Bengt RaskSWE2:45.3 (4 h2)
23Otávio MobigliaBRA2:46.1 (5 h3)
24Juha TikkaFIN2:46.3 (4 h1)
25Ludovicus SchoenmaekersBEL2:46.5 (5 h2)
=26Yury KurchashovURS2:47.3 (6 h2)
=26Pyotr SkripchenkovURS2:47.3 (4 h4)
=26Blago BarbieriYUG2:47.3 (5 h4)
29Adhemar Grijó FilhoBRA2:47.6 (4 h5)
30Vlastimil LinhartTCH2:48.0 (6 h6)
31Brian BarnesGBR2:48.6 (5 h1)
32Awad Moukhtar HalloudahEGY2:50.5 (7 h6)
33Habib SuharkoINA2:51.3 (5 h5)
34Knud GleieDEN2:51.4 (6 h4)
35Vladimír SkovajsaTCH2:53.3 (7 h4)
36Alfons OehySUI2:54.8 (7 h2)
37René KohnLUX2:59.3 (6 h1)
38Muhammad BashirPAK3:01.3 (8 h2)
39Eduardo BarbeiroPOR3:04.6 (8 h6)
DQGiorgio GrilzITA– (DQ h3)
DNSKároly SzittyaHUN– (DNS h3)
DNSAdi BharuchaIND– (DNS h4)
DNSÓscar CendejasMEX– (DNS h5)
DNSAlejandro FierroMEX– (DNS h1)
DNSJehangir NaigamwallaIND– (DNS h5)

Round One (31 July 1952 — 17:00)

Fastest 16 advanced to the semi-finals.

Heat One

17Monte NitzkowskiUSA2:40.6Q
25Pierre JolyFRA2:43.4
36Marek PetrusewiczPOL2:44.0
43Juha TikkaFIN2:46.3
52Brian BarnesGBR2:48.6
64René KohnLUX2:59.3
DNS1Alejandro FierroMEX

Heat Two

17John DaviesAUS2:39.7Q
24Jiro NagasawaJPN2:40.4Q
38Nikola TrojanovićYUG2:42.4Q
46Bengt RaskSWE2:45.3
52Ludovicus SchoenmaekersBEL2:46.5
61Yury KurchashovURS2:47.3
73Alfons OehySUI2:54.8
85Muhammad BashirPAK3:01.3

Heat Three

14Ľudovít KomadelTCH2:38.9QOR
21Orlando CossaniARG2:39.6Q
32Takayoshi KajikawaJPN2:39.6Q
46Walter OcampoMEX2:44.8
53Otávio MobigliaBRA2:46.1
DQ5Giorgio GrilzITA
DNS7Károly SzittyaHUN

Heat Four

14Bo StassforthUSA2:39.3Q
25David HawkinsAUS2:41.2Q
38Leo PortelanceCAN2:42.5Q
42Pyotr SkripchenkovURS2:47.3
57Blago BarbieriYUG2:47.3
66Knud GleieDEN2:51.4
71Vladimír SkovajsaTCH2:53.3
DNS3Adi BharuchaIND

Heat Five

14Jerry HolanUSA2:36.8QOR
27Maurice LusienFRA2:40.9Q
36Nobuyasu HirayamaJPN2:41.5Q
43Adhemar Grijó FilhoBRA2:47.6
55Habib SuharkoINA2:51.3
DNS1Jehangir NaigamwallaIND
DNS2Óscar CendejasMEX

Heat Six

11Herbert KleinGER2:37.0Q
26Daan BuijzeNED2:41.9Q
34Vladimir BorisenkoURS2:43.2Q
45Aulis KähkönenFIN2:43.8
57Manuel SanguilyCUB2:44.5
62Vlastimil LinhartTCH2:48.0
73Awad Moukhtar HalloudahEGY2:50.5
88Eduardo BarbeiroPOR3:04.6

Semi-Finals (31 July 1952 — 17:00)

Fastest eight advanced to the final.

Heat One

1John DaviesAUS2:36.8Q=OR
2Ľudovít KomadelTCH2:38.8Q
3Nobuyasu HirayamaJPN2:39.1Q
4Jerry HolanUSA2:39.2
5Monte NitzkowskiUSA2:41.4
6Daan BuijzeNED2:42.6
7Orlando CossaniARG2:43.1
8Leo PortelanceCAN2:43.8

Heat Two

1Herbert KleinGER2:37.0Q
2Takayoshi KajikawaJPN2:37.3Q
3Bo StassforthUSA2:38.7Q
4Jiro NagasawaJPN2:39.0Q
5Maurice LusienFRA2:39.1Q
6David HawkinsAUS2:39.8
7Nikola TrojanovićYUG2:41.8
8Vladimir BorisenkoURS2:46.2

Final (2 August 1952 — 17:00)

14John DaviesAUS2:34.4OR
26Bo StassforthUSA2:34.7
35Herbert KleinGER2:35.9
41Nobuyasu HirayamaJPN2:37.4
53Takayoshi KajikawaJPN2:38.6
67Jiro NagasawaJPN2:39.1
78Maurice LusienFRA2:39.8
82Ľudovít KomadelTCH2:40.1