| Event type

4 x 200 metres Freestyle Relay, Men

Date1 – 3 December 1956
LocationOlympic Park Swimming and Diving Stadium, Melbourne, Victoria
Participants50 from 11 countries
Olympic Record 8:31.1 / United States USA / 29 July 1952

Barring 1948 when Japan did not participate, the last 30 years of the Olympic 4 × 200 metres freestyle relay had turned into a tussle between the Japanese and Americans for superiority. Things were different in Melbourne as the host nation, who had qualified for the Olympic final since 1924, were blessed with a golden generation of freestylers as their victories in all three individual freestyle events would testify. Another quartet to mention was that of the Soviet Union who had caused a sensation by breaking the world record a month before the Games began. Despite the performance of the Soviets, Australia were still considered favourites for the title as their strongest team consisted of four of the five fastest swimmers for 1956 over the 200 metre distance. The Aussies did not disappoint the home crowd and produced a dominant performance in which they led from start to finish. They come home eight seconds clear of America and in a time which broke the Soviet Union’s record. The USA took home the silver medal with the Soviets back in third.

1AustraliaAUS8:40.2 (3 h2)8:23.6 (1)Gold
Kevin O'HalloranJohn DevittMurray RoseJon HenricksGary ChapmanGraham HamiltonMurray GarrettyJohn Konrads (DNS) • Jon Donohue (DNS)
2United StatesUSA8:38.3 (2 h1)8:31.5 (2)Silver
Dick HanleyGeorge BreenBill WoolseyFord KonnoTim JeckoSonny TanabeGeorge Harrison (DNS)
3Soviet UnionURS8:39.5 (2 h2)8:34.7 (3)Bronze
Vitaly SorokinVladimir StruzhanovGennady NikolayevBoris Nik'it'iniGennady Androsov (DNS) • Lev Balandin (DNS)
4JapanJPN8:37.9 (1 h1)8:36.6 (4)
Manabu KogaAtsushi TaniKoji NonoshitaTsuyoshi YamanakaHiroshi SuzukiToru Furukawa (DNS) • Takeshi Hiwada (DNS) • Takeshi Shimizu (DNS)
5GermanyGER8:42.5 (3 h1)8:43.4 (5)
Hans KöhlerHans-Joachim ReichHans ZieroldHorst BleekerPaul Voell (DNS)
6Great BritainGBR8:39.1 (1 h2)8:45.2 (6)
Kenneth WilliamsRonald RobertsNeil McKechnieJack WardropHaydn Rigby (DNS) • Graham Symonds (DNS)
7ItalyITA8:43.1 (5 h1)8:46.2 (7)
Fritz DennerleinPaolo GallettiGuido ElmiAngelo RomaniCarlo Pedersoli (DNS) • Giorgio Perondini (DNS) • Paolo Pucci (DNS)
8South AfricaRSA8:43.0 (4 h1)8:49.5 (8)
Billy SteuartTony BriscoeDennis FordPeter Duncan
4 h2 r1/2FranceFRA8:56.5 (4 h2)
Aldo EminenteJacques CollignonAlex JanyJean BoiteuxGuy Montserret (DNS)
5 h2 r1/2HungaryHUN8:57.2 (5 h2)
Gyula DobayGyörgy CsordásSándor ZáborszkyJenő ÁtsTivadar Kanizsa (DNS) • György Kárpáti (DNS)
6 h2 r1/2PhilippinesPHI9:05.7 (6 h2)
Dakula ArabaniAgapito LozadaBana SailaniUlpiano BabolParsons Nabiula (DNS)

Round One (1 December 1956 — 14:00)

Fastest eight advanced to the final.

Heat One

PosLaneSwimmerNOC50 m100 m150 mTimeExchange (Pos)
Hiroshi Suzuki2:11.82:11.8 (5)
Atsushi Tani2:08.84:20.6 (3)
Koji Nonoshita2:10.36:30.9 (3)
Tsuyoshi Yamanaka2:07.08:37.9 (1)
25United StatesUSA8:38.3Q
Dick Hanley2:08.72:08.7 (1)
Tim Jecko2:09.14:17.8 (1)
Sonny Tanabe2:12.26:30.0 (1)
Ford Konno2:08.38:38.3 (2)
Hans Köhler2:11.72:11.7 (4)
Hans-Joachim Reich2:12.04:23.7 (5)
Hans Zierold2:07.86:31.5 (4)
Horst Bleeker2:11.08:42.5 (3)
46South AfricaRSA8:43.0Q
Billy Steuart2:09.62:09.6 (2)
Tony Briscoe2:08.74:18.3 (2)
Dennis Ford2:12.56:30.8 (2)
Peter Duncan2:12.28:43.0 (4)
Fritz Dennerlein2:09.72:09.7 (3)
Paolo Galletti2:13.04:22.7 (4)
Guido Elmi2:12.76:35.4 (5)
Angelo Romani2:07.78:43.1 (5)

Heat Two

PosLaneSwimmerNOC50 m100 m150 mTimeExchange (Pos)
15Great BritainGBR8:39.1Q
Kenneth Williams2:11.72:11.7 (4)
Ronald Roberts2:13.14:24.8 (3)
Neil McKechnie2:06.66:31.4 (3)
Jack Wardrop2:07.78:39.1 (1)
23Soviet UnionURS8:39.5Q
Vladimir Struzhanov2:11.62:11.6 (=2)
Gennady Nikolayev2:08.84:20.4 (2)
Vitaly Sorokin2:10.46:30.8 (1)
Boris Nik'it'ini2:08.78:39.5 (2)
John Devitt2:07.52:07.5 (1)
Gary Chapman2:08.44:15.9 (1)
Graham Hamilton2:15.46:31.3 (2)
Murray Garretty2:08.98:40.2 (3)
Aldo Eminente2:11.62:11.6 (=2)
Jacques Collignon2:13.44:25.0 (4)
Alex Jany2:13.46:38.4 (4)
Jean Boiteux2:18.18:56.5 (4)
Gyula Dobay2:12.82:12.8 (5)
György Csordás2:16.54:29.3 (5)
Sándor Záborszky2:14.76:44.0 (5)
Jenő Áts2:13.28:57.2 (5)
Dakula Arabani2:15.92:15.9 (6)
Agapito Lozada2:16.94:32.8 (6)
Bana Sailani2:15.56:48.3 (6)
Ulpiano Babol2:17.49:05.7 (6)

Final (3 December 1956 — 20:00)

PosLaneSwimmerNOC50 m100 m150 mTimeExchange (Pos)
Kevin O'Halloran2:06.82:06.8 (1)
John Devitt2:06.44:13.2 (1)
Murray Rose2:06.06:19.2 (1)
Jon Henricks2:04.48:23.6 (1)
25United StatesUSA8:31.5
Dick Hanley2:08.02:08.0 (3)
George Breen2:07.74:15.7 (2)
Bill Woolsey2:07.06:22.7 (2)
Ford Konno2:08.88:31.5 (2)
36Soviet UnionURS8:34.7
Vitaly Sorokin2:07.52:07.5 (2)
Vladimir Struzhanov2:11.54:19.0 (4)
Gennady Nikolayev2:09.06:28.0 (3)
Boris Nik'it'ini2:06.78:34.7 (3)
Manabu Koga2:10.02:10.0 (5)
Atsushi Tani2:08.54:18.5 (3)
Koji Nonoshita2:10.56:29.0 (4)
Tsuyoshi Yamanaka2:07.68:36.6 (4)
Hans Köhler2:10.32:10.3 (6)
Hans-Joachim Reich2:12.14:22.4 (5)
Hans Zierold2:08.46:30.8 (5)
Horst Bleeker2:12.68:43.4 (5)
63Great BritainGBR8:45.2
Kenneth Williams2:11.42:11.4 (8)
Ronald Roberts2:13.84:25.2 (8)
Neil McKechnie2:11.66:36.8 (8)
Jack Wardrop2:08.48:45.2 (6)
Fritz Dennerlein2:09.82:09.8 (4)
Paolo Galletti2:13.44:23.2 (7)
Guido Elmi2:13.56:36.7 (7)
Angelo Romani2:09.58:46.2 (7)
81South AfricaRSA8:49.5
Billy Steuart2:11.22:11.2 (7)
Tony Briscoe2:11.84:23.0 (6)
Dennis Ford2:13.66:36.6 (6)
Peter Duncan2:12.98:49.5 (8)