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400 metres Individual Medley, Men

Date12 – 14 October 1964
StatusOlympic
LocationKokuritsu Yoyogi Kyogijo, Shibuya, Tokyo
Participants30 from 18 countries

This was the first time that an individual medley race was included on the Olympic Program, and both men and women contested the IM over 400 metres. The favorite was the United States’ Dick Roth, who had set the world record of 4:48.6, the first time under 4:50, at a meet in Los Altos, California in late July 1964. Unfortunately, Roth was stricken by an attack of appendicitis shortly after arriving in Tokyo. The Japanese doctors who attended him recommended surgery, but Roth refused, and simply had his abdomen packed in ice for many hours at a time to help control the pain. By the time of his event, the pain had subsided somewhat and he never underwent an appendectomy. Instead he won a gold medal in the new event, bettering his own world record with 4:45.4. He never held the lead until the final freestyle leg, as his teammates Carl Robie and Roy Saari, led on the other strokes, with Saari a body length ahead of Roth at 300 metres. As Roth swam the fastest freestyle leg, Saari held on for the silver medal, with Germany’s Gerhard Hetz nipping Robie for bronze.

PosSwimmerNOCR1Final
1Dick RothUSA5:01.3 (2 h2)4:45.4 (1)Gold
2Roy SaariUSA5:02.3 (1 h3)4:47.1 (2)Silver
3Gerhard HetzGER4:57.6 (1 h4)4:51.0 (3)Bronze
4Carl RobieUSA4:52.0 (1 h1)4:51.4 (4)
5Sandy GilchristCAN4:58.3 (1 h2)4:57.6 (5)
6Jan JiskootNED5:04.4 (3 h3)5:01.9 (6)
7György KosztolánczyHUN5:03.8 (2 h3)5:01.9 (7)
8Terry BuckAUS5:02.5 (3 h2)5:03.0 (8)
9Dieter PfeiferGER5:05.2 (4 h3)
10Csaba AliHUN5:05.4 (2 h4)
11Ralph HuttonCAN5:06.2 (2 h1)
12John OravainenAUS5:07.0 (3 h1)
13Stefan WeinrichGER5:07.8 (4 h1)
14Ilkka SuvantoFIN5:09.0 (5 h3)
15Rafael HernándezMEX5:09.8 (6 h3)
16Olle FermSWE5:10.5 (3 h4)
17Alex AlexanderAUS5:10.8 (4 h4)
18Celestino PérezPUR5:10.9 (5 h1)
19Veljko RogošićYUG5:11.0 (6 h1)
20Gershon ShefaISR5:11.2 (7 h1)
21Elliot ChenauxPUR5:11.3 (4 h2)
22Gudmunður GíslasonISL5:15.5 (5 h4)
23Hannu VaahtorantaFIN5:16.2 (6 h4)
24Juan FortunyESP5:18.2 (5 h2)
25Juan AlanísMEX5:18.6 (6 h2)
26António Bessone BastoPOR5:19.7 (7 h2)
27Guillermo DávilaMEX5:27.1 (7 h4)
28Charles FoxZAM5:38.2 (7 h3)
29Luis PazPER5:39.5 (8 h2)
30Narong ChokumnuayTHA5:44.1 (8 h4)
DNSSomchai ChudtipanangTHA– (DNS h1)
DNSTéodoro CaprilesVEN– (DNS h3)

Round One (12 October 1964 — 12:10)

Fastest eight advanced to the final.

Heat One

PosLaneSwimmerNOCTime
14Carl RobieUSA4:52.0QOR
22Ralph HuttonCAN5:06.2
33John OravainenAUS5:07.0
47Stefan WeinrichGER5:07.8
51Celestino PérezPUR5:10.9
68Veljko RogošićYUG5:11.0
76Gershon ShefaISR5:11.2
DNS5Somchai ChudtipanangTHA

Heat Two

PosLaneSwimmerNOCTime
15Sandy GilchristCAN4:58.3Q
27Dick RothUSA5:01.3Q
31Terry BuckAUS5:02.5Q
44Elliot ChenauxPUR5:11.3
53Juan FortunyESP5:18.2
66Juan AlanísMEX5:18.6
72António Bessone BastoPOR5:19.7
88Luis PazPER5:39.5

Heat Three

PosLaneSwimmerNOCTime
13Roy SaariUSA5:02.3Q
25György KosztolánczyHUN5:03.8Q
31Jan JiskootNED5:04.4Q
46Dieter PfeiferGER5:05.2
54Ilkka SuvantoFIN5:09.0
67Rafael HernándezMEX5:09.8
72Charles FoxZAM5:38.2
DNS8Téodoro CaprilesVEN

Heat Four

PosLaneSwimmerNOCTime
15Gerhard HetzGER4:57.6Q
23Csaba AliHUN5:05.4
32Olle FermSWE5:10.5
41Alex AlexanderAUS5:10.8
58Gudmunður GíslasonISL5:15.5
66Hannu VaahtorantaFIN5:16.2
74Guillermo DávilaMEX5:27.1
87Narong ChokumnuayTHA5:44.1

Final (14 October 1964 — 20:40)

PosLaneSwimmerNOCTime
16Dick RothUSA4:45.4WR
22Roy SaariUSA4:47.1
35Gerhard HetzGER4:51.0
44Carl RobieUSA4:51.4
53Sandy GilchristCAN4:57.6
68Jan JiskootNED5:01.9
71György KosztolánczyHUN5:01.9
87Terry BuckAUS5:03.0