| Event type

400 metres Individual Medley, Women

Date15 – 17 October 1964
LocationKokuritsu Yoyogi Kyogijo, Shibuya, Tokyo
Participants22 from 12 countries

Donna de Varona had competed at the 1960 Olympics when she was only 13-years-old. But even at that age she held the world record in the 400 individual medley, which was not an Olympic event in 1960. Over the next four years she became the best swimmer in the world, and set five more world records in this event, and eight in the 200 IM, as well as one 100 backstroke world record in 1963. She came to Tokyo as a clear favorite in this new Olympic event, and did not disappoint. In the final she took the lead at 100 metres, and kept pouring it on. Sharon Finneran had twice interrupted de Varona’s world record streak in the 400 IM, setting world records in Osaka, Japan on 26 and 28 July 1962. But she was no match in Tokyo for de Varona, although she won the silver medal, but Finneran was almost six seconds back. Martha Randall came up for third to complete an American sweep.

1Donna de VaronaUSA5:24.2 (1 h4)5:18.7 (1)Gold
2Sharon FinneranUSA5:32.7 (2 h1)5:24.1 (2)Silver
3Martha RandallUSA5:27.8 (1 h2)5:24.2 (3)Bronze
4Veronika HolletzGER5:26.8 (1 h3)5:25.6 (4)
5Linda McGillAUS5:38.3 (3 h3)5:28.4 (5)
6Betty HeukelsNED5:32.4 (2 h3)5:30.3 (6)
7Anita LonsbroughGBR5:30.6 (1 h1)5:30.5 (7)
8Márta EgerváryHUN5:35.8 (3 h1)5:38.4 (8)
9Barbara HounsellCAN5:38.4 (2 h2)
10Marianne HeemskerkNED5:38.6 (2 h4)
11Helga ZimmermannGER5:38.9 (4 h1)
12Adrie LasterieNED5:41.3 (3 h2)
13Kimiko EzakaJPN5:42.1 (4 h3)
14Harriet BlankGER5:42.4 (4 h2)
15Jane CortisAUS5:43.6 (5 h1)
16Kirsten StrangeDEN5:44.4 (5 h3)
17Helen KennedyCAN5:49.9 (3 h4)
18Isabel CastañeESP5:50.7 (5 h2)
19Natsuko MatsudaJPN5:51.5 (4 h4)
20Silvia BelmarMEX6:00.7 (5 h4)
21Margaret HardingPUR6:10.7 (6 h2)
22Pamela JohnsonGBR6:11.9 (6 h3)
DNSMarilyn SidelskyZIM– (DNS h1)
DNSRosario de VivancoPER– (DNS h3)
DNSJan MurphyAUS– (DNS h4)
DNSElisabeth LjunggrenSWE– (DNS h4)

Round One (15 October 1964 — 13:00)

Fastest eight advanced to the final.

Heat One

13Anita LonsbroughGBR5:30.6QOR
24Sharon FinneranUSA5:32.7Q
35Márta EgerváryHUN5:35.8Q
42Helga ZimmermannGER5:38.9
56Jane CortisAUS5:43.6
DNS1Marilyn SidelskyZIM

Heat Two

12Martha RandallUSA5:27.8QOR
27Barbara HounsellCAN5:38.4
36Adrie LasterieNED5:41.3
45Harriet BlankGER5:42.4
54Isabel CastañeESP5:50.7
63Margaret HardingPUR6:10.7

Heat Three

15Veronika HolletzGER5:26.8QOR
26Betty HeukelsNED5:32.4Q
34Linda McGillAUS5:38.3Q
42Kimiko EzakaJPN5:42.1
57Kirsten StrangeDEN5:44.4
63Pamela JohnsonGBR6:11.9
DNS1Rosario de VivancoPER

Heat Four

15Donna de VaronaUSA5:24.2QOR
23Marianne HeemskerkNED5:38.6
31Helen KennedyCAN5:49.9
47Natsuko MatsudaJPN5:51.5
56Silvia BelmarMEX6:00.7
DNS4Jan MurphyAUS
DNS2Elisabeth LjunggrenSWE

Final (17 October 1964 — 21:35)

14Donna de VaronaUSA5:18.7OR
27Sharon FinneranUSA5:24.1
33Martha RandallUSA5:24.2
45Veronika HolletzGER5:25.6
58Linda McGillAUS5:28.4
62Betty HeukelsNED5:30.3
76Anita LonsbroughGBR5:30.5
81Márta EgerváryHUN5:38.4