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Swimming at the 1912 Stockholm Summer Games:

Men's 400 metres Freestyle

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Host City: Stockholm, Sweden
Venue(s): Swimming Stadium, Djurgården Bay, Stockholm
Date Started: July 11, 1912
Date Finished: July 14, 1912

Gold: CAN George Hodgson
Silver: GBR Jack Hatfield
Bronze: ANZ Harold Hardwick
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The world record over 440 yards was held by Australia’s Frank Beaurepaire, who had won the silver medal in this event at London in 1908. Beaurepaire competed at the 1920 and 1924 Olympic Games as well, but he did not compete in Stockholm as he was declared a professional in 1911 for having lectured on swimming and lifesaving. Australia’s best hope in this event was Harold Hardwick, who had won the 1911 Amateur Swimming Association (ASA - Great Britain) title over 440 yards. Hardwick later won the Australian professional heavyweight boxing champion in 1915.

But the victory went to Canada’s George Hodgson, who had won the 1,500 metres only four days earlier. Hodgson had come to prominence in 1910 when he won every race he entered at the Canadian Championships. In 1911 he won the mile race at the Festival of the Empire Games in London (GBR), entering McGill University (Montreal) upon his return. In 1912, he again swept his events at the Canadian Championships, while representing the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association (MAAA). With the outbreak of World War I, Hodgson travelled to England where he joined the Royal Air Force (RAF). During his military career, he won the AFC and the London Board of Trade Silver Medal for rescues made at sea. Upon his return to Canada, he resumed his swimming career, and competed at the 1920 Olympics, but in the 400 and 1,500 metre freestyle races at Antwerp, he failed to make the final. Second-place finisher John Hatfield would later win the ASA title in 1912 and 1913.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 George Hodgson 18 Canada CAN Gold OR
2 Jack Hatfield 18 Great Britain GBR Silver
3 Harold Hardwick 23 Australasia ANZ Bronze
4 Cecil Healy 30 Australasia ANZ
5 Béla von Las-Torres 22 Hungary HUN
3 h1 r2/3 Willie Foster 21 Great Britain GBR
4 h1 r2/3 Nick Nerich 18 United States USA
4 h2 r2/3 Malcolm Champion 28 Australasia ANZ
5 h1 r2/3 Sydney Battersby 24 Great Britain GBR
5 h2 r2/3 Henry Taylor 27 Great Britain GBR
6 h1 r2/3 John Johnsen 20 Norway NOR
1 h3 r1/3 Max Ritter 25 Germany GER
2 h3 r1/3 Alajos Kenyery 19 Hungary HUN
3 h1 r1/3 James Reilly 22 United States USA
3 h2 r1/3 Eskil Wedholm 21 Sweden SWE
3 h5 r1/3 Franz Schuh 21 Austria AUT
3 h6 r1/3 Oscar Schiele 23 Germany GER
4 h1 r1/3 Nils-Erik Haglund 18 Sweden SWE
4 h6 r1/3 George Godfrey 23 South Africa RSA
5 h1 r1/3 Davide Baiardo 24 Italy ITA
5 h6 r1/3 Harry Hedegaard 17 Denmark DEN
AC h1 r1/3 Mario Massa 19 Italy ITA DNF
AC h2 r1/3 Pavel Avksentyev Russia RUS DNF
AC h3 r1/3 Theo Tartakover Australasia ANZ DNF
AC h3 r1/3 David Theander 20 Sweden SWE DNF
AC h4 r1/3 Nikolay Voronkov Russia RUS DNF