| Event type

400 metres Freestyle, Women

Date31 July – 2 August 1952
LocationHelsingin Uimastadion, Helsinki
Participants33 from 17 countries

The 400m Freestyle was destined to be a clash between Hungary, the USA and Denmark. The return of world record holder Ragnhild Hveger-Andersen, after a sixteen year Olympic absence, added to the talents of European champion Grete Andersen meant that Denmark would be well represented whilst a trio of talented Hungarians and the American pairing of Evelyn Kawamoto and Carolyn Green could not be discounted. For nearly 300 metres the impossible seemed about to happened as Hveger-Andersen, at 32 and coming back from a 7 year retirement, held off her younger rivals but her early efforts were in vain as four swimmers passed her. The gold medal was decided between two Hungarians, Valéria Gyenge and Éva Novák, with Gyenge edging her more experienced team-mate for the victory.

1Valéria GyengeHUN5:22.6 (1 h3)5:16.9 (1 h2)5:12.1 (1)Gold
2Éva NovákHUN5:19.1 (1 h5)5:21.3 (2 h1)5:13.7 (2)Silver
3Evelyn KawamotoUSA5:16.6 (1 h4)5:21.2 (1 h1)5:14.6 (3)Bronze
4Carolyn GreenUSA5:23.8 (2 h3)5:18.3 (2 h2)5:16.5 (4)
5Ragnhild HvegerDEN5:19.6 (1 h2)5:19.5 (4 h2)5:16.9 (5)
6Éva SzékelyHUN5:20.9 (2 h2)5:19.3 (3 h2)5:17.9 (6)
7Ana María SchultzARG5:26.1 (1 h1)5:22.0 (3 h1)5:24.0 (7)
8Greta AndersenDEN5:21.3 (2 h5)5:22.1 (4 h1)5:27.0 (8)
9Joan HarrisonRSA5:21.8 (3 h4)5:23.1 (5 h1)
10Judy-Joy DaviesAUS5:21.2 (3 h2)5:25.6 (6 h1)
11Daphne WilkinsonGBR5:16.6 (2 h4)5:27.2 (5 h2)
12Delia MeulenkampUSA5:21.4 (4 h2)5:27.9 (6 h2)
13Piedade Coutinho-TavaresBRA5:26.9 (3 h5)5:28.5 (7 h1)
14Denise NortonAUS5:28.5 (4 h5)5:30.9 (7 h2)
15Huguette PeetersBEL5:29.8 (2 h1)5:36.5 (8 h2)
16Ingegärd FredinSWE5:28.7 (4 h4)– (DNS h1)
17Mette Ove PetersenDEN5:30.6 (3 h1)
18Grace WoodGBR5:31.2 (4 h1)
19Lillian PreeceGBR5:32.1 (5 h2)
20Ginette JanyFRA5:32.6 (5 h4)
21Marianne LundquistSWE5:34.4 (5 h5)
22Colette ThomasFRA5:36.8 (3 h3)
23Elisabeth RechlinGER5:38.0 (4 h3)
24Sybille VerckistBEL5:40.1 (6 h2)
25Josette ArèneFRA5:44.1 (6 h5)
26Irma Heijting-SchuhmacherNED5:45.2 (6 h4)
27Hannie TermeulenNED5:45.5 (5 h3)
28Sadako YamashitaJPN5:48.4 (7 h4)
29Kay McNameeCAN5:50.5 (5 h1)
30Gladys PriestleyCAN5:52.7 (6 h3)
31Ritva JärvinenFIN5:53.5 (7 h2)
32Cynthia EagerHKG5:55.8 (7 h3)
33Misako TamuraJPN5:59.0 (7 h5)
34Geertje WielemaNED6:02.6 (6 h1)
DNSArati SahaIND– (DNS h1)

Round One (31 July 1952 — 10:00)

Fastest 16 advanced to the semi-finals.

Heat One

13Ana María SchultzARG5:26.1Q
22Huguette PeetersBEL5:29.8Q
34Mette Ove PetersenDEN5:30.6
46Grace WoodGBR5:31.2
57Kay McNameeCAN5:50.5
65Geertje WielemaNED6:02.6
DNS1Arati SahaIND

Heat Two

11Ragnhild HvegerDEN5:19.6Q
24Éva SzékelyHUN5:20.9Q
36Judy-Joy DaviesAUS5:21.2Q
47Delia MeulenkampUSA5:21.4Q
53Lillian PreeceGBR5:32.1
65Sybille VerckistBEL5:40.1
72Ritva JärvinenFIN5:53.5

Heat Three

14Valéria GyengeHUN5:22.6Q
25Carolyn GreenUSA5:23.8Q
36Colette ThomasFRA5:36.8
41Elisabeth RechlinGER5:38.0
57Hannie TermeulenNED5:45.5
63Gladys PriestleyCAN5:52.7
72Cynthia EagerHKG5:55.8

Heat Four

17Evelyn KawamotoUSA5:16.6QOR
25Daphne WilkinsonGBR5:16.6Q=OR
36Joan HarrisonRSA5:21.8Q
43Ingegärd FredinSWE5:28.7Q
52Ginette JanyFRA5:32.6
64Irma Heijting-SchuhmacherNED5:45.2
71Sadako YamashitaJPN5:48.4

Heat Five

14Éva NovákHUN5:19.1Q
27Greta AndersenDEN5:21.3Q
36Piedade Coutinho-TavaresBRA5:26.9Q
43Denise NortonAUS5:28.5Q
51Marianne LundquistSWE5:34.4
65Josette ArèneFRA5:44.1
72Misako TamuraJPN5:59.0

Semi-Finals (1 August 1952 — 10:00)

Fastest eight advanced to the final.

Heat One

14Evelyn KawamotoUSA5:21.2Q
25Éva NovákHUN5:21.3Q
37Ana María SchultzARG5:22.0Q
46Greta AndersenDEN5:22.1Q
52Joan HarrisonRSA5:23.1
63Judy-Joy DaviesAUS5:25.6
71Piedade Coutinho-TavaresBRA5:28.5
DNS8Ingegärd FredinSWE

Heat Two

12Valéria GyengeHUN5:16.9Q
27Carolyn GreenUSA5:18.3Q
33Éva SzékelyHUN5:19.3Q
45Ragnhild HvegerDEN5:19.5Q
54Daphne WilkinsonGBR5:27.2
66Delia MeulenkampUSA5:27.9
71Denise NortonAUS5:30.9
88Huguette PeetersBEL5:36.5

Final (2 August 1952 — 17:00)

14Valéria GyengeHUN5:12.1OR
27Éva NovákHUN5:13.7
32Evelyn KawamotoUSA5:14.6
45Carolyn GreenUSA5:16.5
56Ragnhild HvegerDEN5:16.9
63Éva SzékelyHUN5:17.9
71Ana María SchultzARG5:24.0
88Greta AndersenDEN5:27.0