| Event type

400 metres Freestyle, Men

Date1 – 4 December 1956
LocationOlympic Park Swimming and Diving Stadium, Melbourne, Victoria
Participants32 from 19 countries

In October 17-year-old Australian Murray Rose set the fastest time ever recorded for the distance in a 50 metre pool. This served as a prelude to a hugely successful Olympic Games for the teenager. Rose’s first victory of the three he obtained in Melbourne came in this event. Starting conservatively, Rose pulled away from the other swimmers over the second half of the race to win ahead of Tsuyoshi Yamanaka and George Breen. The three men would repeat their finishing positions in the 1500 m later in the Games. The winning time was narrowly outside Ford Konno‘s world record but when FINA changed their rules in 1957 to disallow times set in 25 m pools it became recognised as the world record. Rose went on to successfully defend his title four years later in Rome.

1Murray RoseAUS4:31.7 (1 h5)4:27.3 (1)Gold
2Tsuyoshi YamanakaJPN4:31.8 (2 h5)4:30.4 (2)Silver
3George BreenUSA4:35.7 (1 h3)4:32.5 (3)Bronze
4Kevin O'HalloranAUS4:36.9 (1 h1)4:32.9 (4)
5Hans ZieroldGER4:35.7 (3 h5)4:34.6 (5)
6Gary WinramAUS4:34.5 (1 h4)4:34.9 (6)
7Koji NonoshitaJPN4:37.4 (2 h1)4:38.2 (7)
8Angelo RomaniITA4:37.6 (3 h1)4:41.7 (8)
9Jean BoiteuxFRA4:37.9 (2 h4)
10Bill WoolseyUSA4:38.2 (4 h1)
11Jack WardropGBR4:39.8 (1 h2)
12Bill SlaterCAN4:40.4 (3 h4)
13Tony BriscoeRSA4:41.4 (2 h2)
14George OnekeaUSA4:41.6 (3 h2)
15Neil McKechnieGBR4:42.6 (4 h4)
16Boris Nik'it'iniURS4:42.8 (5 h4)
17Billy SteuartRSA4:43.0 (6 h4)
18Hans KöhlerGER4:43.5 (4 h2)
19Habib NasutionINA4:44.0 (5 h2)
20Per-Olof ÖstrandSWE4:45.9 (6 h2)
21Peter DuncanRSA4:46.7 (2 h3)
22Jenő ÁtsHUN4:47.6 (4 h5)
23Sylvio dos SantosBRA4:48.8 (5 h1)
24Bana SailaniPHI4:49.0 (7 h4)
25Jacques CollignonFRA4:49.3 (5 h5)
26Karri KäyhköFIN4:49.6 (3 h3)
27Yoshiro NodaJPN4:49.9 (4 h3)
28Gilberto MartínezCOL4:51.4 (7 h2)
29Guy MontserretFRA4:52.6 (5 h3)
30Ulpiano BabolPHI4:53.4 (6 h1)
31Raúl MartínCUB4:58.2 (8 h2)
32Wan Shiu MingHKG5:02.6 (7 h1)
DNSHaroldo LaraBRA– (DNS h3)
DNSSándor ZáborszkyHUN– (DNS h3)
DNSGeorge ParkCAN– (DNS h5)
DNSGyörgy CsordásHUN– (DNS h5)
DNSShrichand BajajIND– (DNS h5)

Round One (1 December 1956 — 21:15)

Fastest eight advanced to the final.

Heat One

13Kevin O'HalloranAUS4:36.9Q
27Koji NonoshitaJPN4:37.4Q
36Angelo RomaniITA4:37.6Q
44Bill WoolseyUSA4:38.2
55Sylvio dos SantosBRA4:48.8
68Ulpiano BabolPHI4:53.4
71Wan Shiu MingHKG5:02.6

Heat Two

16Jack WardropGBR4:39.8
21Tony BriscoeRSA4:41.4
33George OnekeaUSA4:41.6
45Hans KöhlerGER4:43.5
52Habib NasutionINA4:44.0
64Per-Olof ÖstrandSWE4:45.9
78Gilberto MartínezCOL4:51.4
87Raúl MartínCUB4:58.2

Heat Three

15George BreenUSA4:35.7Q
24Peter DuncanRSA4:46.7
32Karri KäyhköFIN4:49.6
46Yoshiro NodaJPN4:49.9
57Guy MontserretFRA4:52.6
DNS1Haroldo LaraBRA
DNS3Sándor ZáborszkyHUN

Heat Four

15Gary WinramAUS4:34.5Q
23Jean BoiteuxFRA4:37.9
32Bill SlaterCAN4:40.4
47Neil McKechnieGBR4:42.6
56Boris Nik'it'iniURS4:42.8
64Billy SteuartRSA4:43.0
71Bana SailaniPHI4:49.0

Heat Five

15Murray RoseAUS4:31.7Q
23Tsuyoshi YamanakaJPN4:31.8Q
34Hans ZieroldGER4:35.7Q
46Jenő ÁtsHUN4:47.6
51Jacques CollignonFRA4:49.3
DNS7George ParkCAN
DNS8György CsordásHUN
DNS2Shrichand BajajIND

Final (4 December 1956 — 19:30)

14Murray RoseAUS4:27.3WR
25Tsuyoshi YamanakaJPN4:30.4
36George BreenUSA4:32.5
47Kevin O'HalloranAUS4:32.9
52Hans ZieroldGER4:34.6
63Gary WinramAUS4:34.9
71Koji NonoshitaJPN4:38.2
88Angelo RomaniITA4:41.7