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Swimming at the 1932 Los Angeles Summer Games:

Men's 400 metres Freestyle

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Host City: Los Angeles, United States
Venue(s): Olympic Park Swimming Stadium, Los Angeles, California
Date Started: August 8, 1932
Date Finished: August 10, 1932

Gold: USA Buster Crabbe
Silver: FRA Jean Taris
Bronze: JPN Tsutomi Oyokota

Summary

All bar one of the men’s swimming events at the 1932 Olympic Games resulted in Japanese victories; the exception was the victory of Buster Crabbe in the 400 metres freestyle. Although Crabbe was well respected over the distance, France’s Jean Taris was the world record holder and another of the talented young Japanese swimmers, Takashi Yokoyama, had recorded the best heat times. The final quickly turned into a duel between Taris and Crabbe with the three Japanese finalists fighting for the bronze medal. The Frenchman pulled out to an early lead and was two lengths ahead of his rival at the halfway stage, but Crabbe came back at him, drew level and, as the excited crowd roared their local boy onwards, passed Taris to touch first. The margin between first and second at the finish was just a tenth of a second. Crabbe followed Johnny Weissmuller into an acting career and followed him in the role of “Tarzan”. He is perhaps best known for his appearances in the “Buck Rogers” and “Flash Gordon” serials from the thirties and early forties

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Buster Crabbe 24 United States USA Gold OR
2 Jean Taris 23 France FRA Silver
3 Tsutomi Oyokota 19 Japan JPN Bronze
4 Takashi Yokoyama 18 Japan JPN
5 Noboru Sugimoto 18 Japan JPN
6 Boy Charlton 24 Australia AUS
4 h1 r2/3 James Gilhula 20 United States USA
4 h2 r2/3 Giuseppe Perentin 26 Italy ITA
5 h1 r2/3 Noel Ryan Australia AUS
5 h2 r2/3 Walter Spence 31 Canada CAN
6 h1 r2/3 Paolo Costoli 22 Italy ITA
3 h1 r1/3 George Burrows Canada CAN
3 h2 r1/3 Norman Wainwright 18 Great Britain GBR
3 h4 r1/3 Bob Leivers 17 Great Britain GBR
3 h5 r1/3 George Larson 20 Canada CAN
4 h2 r1/3 Ignacio Gutiérrez Mexico MEX
4 h3 r1/3 Gyula Kánásy 18 Hungary HUN
4 h4 r1/3 Nalin Malik India IND
5 h3 r1/3 Manuel Villegas Mexico MEX