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| Event type

400 metres, Men

Date24 – 25 July 1952
StatusOlympic
LocationHelsingin Olympiastadion, Helsinki
Participants71 from 35 countries

The world record holder was Jamaica’s George Rhoden, who had run 45.8 in 1950 in Finland. His biggest rival was his countryman, Herb McKenley, the defending silver medalist who had been favored in 1948. The defending champion, Arthur Wint, was also back and Jamaican sweep was a possibility. In the final, Wint led early, which was unusual for him, but could not maintain the pace. Rhoden caught Wint just before the homestretch and quickly had a big lead. But McKenley closed very quickly and almost caught him by the line, with Wint fading to fifth place. The third-place finisher, Ollie Matson, was later a star running back in the NFL with the Los Angeles Rams.

PosNrAthleteNOCR1QFSFFinal
1296George RhodenJAM48.1 (1 h10)47.2 (1 h2)46.5 (2 h2)45.9 (1)GoldOR
2295Herb McKenleyJAM48.0 (1 h5)47.4 (1 h4)46.4 (1 h2)45.9 (2)Silver
3987Ollie MatsonUSA48.1 (1 h12)47.4 (2 h2)46.7 (3 h2)46.8 (3)Bronze
4733Karl-Friedrich HaasGER47.5 (1 h1)47.4 (3 h2)46.4 (2 h1)47.0 (4)
5297Arthur WintJAM47.3 (1 h3)46.9 (1 h1)46.3 (1 h1)47.0 (5)
6986Mal WhitfieldUSA48.6 (1 h6)47.6 (1 h3)46.4 (3 h1)47.1 (6)
4 h1 r3/4988Gene ColeUSA48.3 (1 h9)47.7 (2 h4)46.8 (4 h1)
4 h2 r3/4732Hans GeisterGER47.9 (1 h8)47.7 (2 h3)46.7 (4 h2)
5 h1 r3/4416Ardalion IgnatyevURS48.1 (1 h2)48.0 (3 h4)47.4 (5 h1)
5 h2 r3/4349Jack CarrollCAN48.0 (2 h3)47.7 (3 h3)47.4 (5 h2)
6 h1 r3/4348James LaveryCAN48.4 (1 h11)47.5 (2 h1)47.7 (6 h1)
3 h1 r2/4671Lars-Erik WolfbrandtSWE48.4 (1 h4)47.8 (3 h1)– (DNS h2)
4 h1 r2/4972Guillermo GutiérrezVEN48.7 (2 h6)48.6 (4 h1)
4 h2 r2/417Morris CurottaAUS48.7 (2 h7)48.8 (4 h2)
4 h3 r2/4107Louis van BiljonRSA48.1 (2 h5)48.5 (4 h3)
4 h4 r2/4600Yves CamusFRA48.0 (2 h8)48.1 (4 h4)
5 h1 r2/4173Les LewisGBR47.8 (2 h1)49.0 (5 h1)
5 h2 r2/4775Rolf BackFIN48.5 (2 h2)51.1 (5 h2)
5 h3 r2/4602Jacques DegatsFRA48.5 (1 h7)48.8 (5 h3)
5 h4 r2/4172Terry HigginsGBR48.7 (2 h4)49.1 (5 h4)
6 h1 r2/4846Hans Ernst SchneiderSUI48.7 (2 h12)49.2 (6 h1)
6 h3 r2/4171Alan DickGBR48.7 (2 h9)49.0 (6 h3)
2 h10 r1/4564Gerard MachPOL48.5 (2 h10)– (DNS h4)
2 h11 r1/4417Yury LituyevURS48.8 (2 h11)– (DNS h2)
3 h1 r1/420Edwin Carr, Jr.AUS48.0 (3 h1)
3 h2 r1/4275Rupert BlöchAUT49.6 (3 h2)
3 h3 r1/4934Egon SolymossyHUN49.2 (3 h3)
3 h4 r1/4302Junkichi MatobaJPN49.4 (3 h4)
3 h5 r1/436Roger MoensBEL48.6 (3 h5)
3 h6 r1/4247Gianni RoccaITA49.2 (3 h6)
3 h7 r1/4248Vincenzo LombardoITA49.3 (3 h7)
3 h8 r1/4898Milan FilloTCH48.7 (3 h8)
3 h9 r1/4418Edmunds PīlāgsURS49.2 (3 h9)
3 h10 r1/4146Paul DolanIRL48.5 (3 h10)
3 h11 r1/4543Frank RiveraPUR49.3 (3 h11)
3 h12 r1/459Argemiro RoqueBRA48.9 (3 h12)
4 h1 r1/4935Zoltán AdamikHUN48.5 (4 h1)
4 h2 r1/4404Gérard RasquinLUX50.0 (4 h2)
4 h3 r1/4847Sepp StegerSUI49.2 (4 h3)
4 h4 r1/4375Vasilios SillisGRE49.7 (4 h4)
4 h5 r1/4933Ferenc BánhalmiHUN49.4 (4 h5)
4 h6 r1/4670Gösta BrännströmSWE50.1 (4 h6)
4 h7 r1/4274Rudolf HaideggerAUT49.9 (4 h7)
4 h8 r1/4157Guðmundur LárussonISL49.7 (4 h8)
4 h9 r1/4399Ángel GarcíaCUB49.2 (4 h9)
4 h10 r1/4601Jean-Pierre GoudeauFRA48.8 (4 h10)
4 h11 r1/4246Antonio SiddiITA50.9 (4 h11)
4 h12 r1/4105Schalk BooysenRSA49.0 (4 h12)
5 h1 r1/4400Evelio PlanasCUB49.4 (5 h1)
5 h2 r1/4106John AndertonRSA50.3 (5 h2)
5 h3 r1/4777Jaakko SuikkariFIN50.9 (5 h3)
5 h4 r1/4915Doğan AcarbayTUR50.7 (5 h4)
5 h5 r1/4233Arie GillISR50.2 (5 h5)
5 h6 r1/4409Javier SouzaMEX50.3 (5 h6)
5 h7 r1/437Albert LowagieBEL50.1 (5 h7)
5 h8 r1/4888Sompop SvadanandanaTHA53.6 (5 h8)
5 h9 r1/435Antoine UytterhoevenBEL50.0 (5 h9)
5 h10 r1/4347Doug ClementCAN50.0 (5 h10)
5 h12 r1/4897Jiří DavidTCH49.1 (5 h12)
6 h1 r1/4526Abdul RehmanPAK51.2 (6 h1)
6 h2 r1/4891Pongummart UmmarttayakulTHA52.9 (6 h2)
6 h3 r1/4527Aurang ZebPAK51.0 (6 h3)
6 h4 r1/4138Ivan JacobIND51.3 (6 h4)
6 h5 r1/4845Ernst von GuntenSUI50.7 (6 h5)
6 h6 r1/4916Emin DoybakTUR51.1 (6 h6)
6 h8 r1/4120Jeremías StokesGUA53.6 (6 h8)
6 h9 r1/4407Jean HamiliusLUX50.3 (6 h9)
6 h12 r1/4403Fred HammerLUX49.6 (6 h12)
7 h6 r1/4555Fernando CasimiroPOR52.2 (7 h6)
7 h12 r1/4776Ossi MildhFIN50.2 (7 h12)
AC h5 r1/4672Tage EkfeldtSWE– (AC h5)
DNS539Cirilo McSweenPAN– (DNS h4)
DNS870Knud SchibsbyeDEN– (DNS h7)
DNS540Sam LaBeachPAN– (DNS h7)
DNS97José FórmicaESP– (DNS h9)
DNS541Clayton ClarkPAN– (DNS h11)
DNS73Gustavo EhlersCHI– (DNS h8)
DNS376Vasilios MavroidisGRE– (DNS h1)
DNS149Jimmy ReardonIRL– (DNS h3)
DNS303Eitaro OkanoJPN– (DNS h11)
DNS368Eom Pal-YongKOR– (DNS h10)
DNS914Ekrem KoçakTUR– (DNS h10)

Round One (24 July 1952 — 15:20)

Top two in each heat advanced to the quarter-finals.

Heat One

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
15Karl-Friedrich HaasGER47.547.58Q
23Les LewisGBR47.847.95Q
32Edwin Carr, Jr.AUS48.048.23
41Zoltán AdamikHUN48.548.70
54Evelio PlanasCUB49.449.44
66Abdul RehmanPAK51.251.47
DNS7Vasilios MavroidisGRE

Heat Two

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
16Ardalion IgnatyevURS48.148.22Q
24Rolf BackFIN48.548.58Q
31Rupert BlöchAUT49.649.82
43Gérard RasquinLUX50.050.12
52John AndertonRSA50.350.35
65Pongummart UmmarttayakulTHA52.953.23

Heat Three

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
16Arthur WintJAM47.347.42Q
23Jack CarrollCAN48.048.05Q
31Egon SolymossyHUN49.249.32
42Sepp StegerSUI49.249.35
55Jaakko SuikkariFIN50.950.92
67Aurang ZebPAK51.051.25
DNS4Jimmy ReardonIRL

Heat Four

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
11Lars-Erik WolfbrandtSWE48.448.57Q
23Terry HigginsGBR48.748.77Q
34Junkichi MatobaJPN49.449.57
46Vasilios SillisGRE49.749.79
55Doğan AcarbayTUR50.750.83
62Ivan JacobIND51.351.48
DNS7Cirilo McSweenPAN

Heat Five

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
11Herb McKenleyJAM48.048.09Q
24Louis van BiljonRSA48.148.31Q
32Roger MoensBEL48.648.71
43Ferenc BánhalmiHUN49.449.55
55Arie GillISR50.250.27
66Ernst von GuntenSUI50.750.88
AC7Tage EkfeldtSWEDQ

Heat Six

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
13Mal WhitfieldUSA48.648.68Q
27Guillermo GutiérrezVEN48.748.82Q
34Gianni RoccaITA49.249.51
42Gösta BrännströmSWE50.150.32
55Javier SouzaMEX50.350.47
61Emin DoybakTUR51.151.34
76Fernando CasimiroPOR52.252.33

Heat Seven

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
11Jacques DegatsFRA48.548.60Q
26Morris CurottaAUS48.748.87Q
37Vincenzo LombardoITA49.349.53
45Rudolf HaideggerAUT49.950.01
54Albert LowagieBEL50.150.26
DNS2Knud SchibsbyeDEN
DNS3Sam LaBeachPAN

Heat Eight

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
13Hans GeisterGER47.947.99Q
25Yves CamusFRA48.048.06Q
34Milan FilloTCH48.748.91
41Guðmundur LárussonISL49.749.81
56Sompop SvadanandanaTHA53.653.68
62Jeremías StokesGUA53.653.81
DNS7Gustavo EhlersCHI

Heat Nine

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
15Gene ColeUSA48.348.44Q
22Alan DickGBR48.748.84Q
33Edmunds PīlāgsURS49.249.29
41Ángel GarcíaCUB49.249.34
54Antoine UytterhoevenBEL50.050.21
67Jean HamiliusLUX50.350.75
DNS6José FórmicaESP

Heat Ten

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
12George RhodenJAM48.148.28Q
27Gerard MachPOL48.548.64Q
34Paul DolanIRL48.548.81
43Jean-Pierre GoudeauFRA48.848.94
51Doug ClementCAN50.050.19
DNS6Eom Pal-YongKOR
DNS5Ekrem KoçakTUR

Heat Eleven

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
16James LaveryCAN48.448.47Q
24Yury LituyevURS48.849.01Q
31Frank RiveraPUR49.349.48
43Antonio SiddiITA50.951.03
DNS5Clayton ClarkPAN
DNS2Eitaro OkanoJPN

Heat Twelve

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
16Ollie MatsonUSA48.148.17Q
23Hans Ernst SchneiderSUI48.748.86Q
34Argemiro RoqueBRA48.949.05
42Schalk BooysenRSA49.049.17
57Jiří DavidTCH49.149.23
65Fred HammerLUX49.649.90
71Ossi MildhFIN50.250.36

Quarter-Finals (24 July 1952 — 18:35)

Top three in each heat advanced to the semi-finals.

Heat One

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
1297Arthur WintJAM46.946.98Q
2348James LaveryCAN47.547.67Q
3671Lars-Erik WolfbrandtSWE47.848.08Q
4972Guillermo GutiérrezVEN48.648.75
5173Les LewisGBR49.049.09
6846Hans Ernst SchneiderSUI49.249.32

Heat Two

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
1296George RhodenJAM47.247.24Q
2987Ollie MatsonUSA47.447.53Q
3733Karl-Friedrich HaasGER47.447.66Q
417Morris CurottaAUS48.848.86
5775Rolf BackFIN51.151.53
DNS417Yury LituyevURS

Heat Three

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
1996Mal WhitfieldUSA47.647.74Q
2732Hans GeisterGER47.747.81Q
3349Jack CarrollCAN47.747.82Q
4107Louis van BiljonRSA48.548.63
5602Jacques DegatsFRA48.848.90
6171Alan DickGBR49.049.20

Heat Four

PosNrAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
1295Herb McKenleyJAM47.447.56Q
2988Gene ColeUSA47.747.88Q
3416Ardalion IgnatyevURS48.048.25Q
4600Yves CamusFRA48.148.43
5172Terry HigginsGBR49.149.22
DNS564Gerard MachPOL

Semi-Finals (25 July 1952 — 15:00)

Top three in each heat advanced to the final.

Heat One

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
13Arthur WintJAM46.346.38Q
25Karl-Friedrich HaasGER46.446.56Q
36Mal WhitfieldUSA46.446.64Q
44Gene ColeUSA46.846.94
52Ardalion IgnatyevURS47.447.49
61James LaveryCAN47.747.83

Heat Two

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
16Herb McKenleyJAM46.446.53Q
25George RhodenJAM46.546.61Q
34Ollie MatsonUSA46.746.99Q
43Hans GeisterGER46.747.00
51Jack CarrollCAN47.447.61
DNS2Lars-Erik WolfbrandtSWE

Final (25 July 1952 — 17:05)

PosLaneAthleteNOCTime (H)Time (A)
16George RhodenJAM45.946.09OR
24Herb McKenleyJAM45.946.20=OR
35Ollie MatsonUSA46.846.94
43Karl-Friedrich HaasGER47.047.22
52Arthur WintJAM47.047.24
61Mal WhitfieldUSA47.147.30