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Swimming at the 1936 Berlin Summer Games:

Men's 400 metres Freestyle

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Host City: Berlin, Germany
Venue(s): Swimming Stadium, Imperial Sports Field, Berlin
Date Started: August 10, 1936
Date Finished: August 12, 1936

Gold: USA Jack Medica
Silver: JPN Shunpei Uto
Bronze: JPN Shozo Makino


Like the 100 metre freestyle at the same Games, this event was predicted to be a battle between an American world record holder and a strong Japanese trio. Unlike the 100, this race would follow the predicted course and turn into a triumph for the USA’s [Jack Medica] but only after a tremendous duel. [Shumpei Uto] took a lead over Medica but the American fought back and narrowed a lead. A spurt by the Japanese swimmer pushed him further ahead but his exertion took much out of him and Medica responded. Medica and Uto battled for gold in the final 50 metres with the American only taking the lead with 10 metres to go.

One competitor who did not qualify from his heat was Brazil’s [João Havelange]. Havelange became one of the world’s leading sports administrators as both a long serving member of the IOC and as president of FIFA, the governing body of world football.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Jack Medica 21 United States USA Gold OR
2 Shunpei Uto 17 Japan JPN Silver
3 Shozo Makino 21 Japan JPN Bronze
4 Ralph Flanagan 17 United States USA
5 Hiroshi Negami 23 Japan JPN
6 Jean Taris 27 France FRA
7 Bob Leivers 21 Great Britain GBR
4 h1 r2/3 John Macionis 20 United States USA
5 h1 r2/3 Hans Freese 18 Germany GER
5 h2 r2/3 Heinz Arendt 19 Germany GER
6 h1 r2/3 Bob Pirie 20 Canada CAN
6 h2 r2/3 Otto Przywara 21 Germany GER
7 h1 r2/3 Ödön Gróf 21 Hungary HUN
2 h6 r1/3 Walter Ledgard, Sr. 20 Peru PER
3 h2 r1/3 Aage Hellstrøm 15 Denmark DEN
3 h3 r1/3 Norman Wainwright 22 Great Britain GBR
3 h4 r1/3 Heikki Hietanen 21 Finland FIN
3 h6 r1/3 Piet Stam 17 Netherlands NED
4 h1 r1/3 Árpád Lengyel 20 Hungary HUN
4 h2 r1/3 João Havelange 20 Brazil BRA
4 h3 r1/3 Bob Hamerton 25 Canada CAN
4 h4 r1/3 William Pearson 19 Great Britain GBR
4 h5 r1/3 Poul Petersen 23 Denmark DEN
4 h6 r1/3 Manoel Villar 23 Brazil BRA
5 h1 r1/3 Edmund Pader Austria AUT
5 h3 r1/3 Jørgen Jørgensen 22 Denmark DEN
5 h4 r1/3 Aluizio Lage 17 Brazil BRA
5 h5 r1/3 Edmund Cooper 23 Bermuda BER
5 h6 r1/3 Hans Brenner 23 Switzerland SUI
6 h1 r1/3 Robert Hooper 17 Canada CAN
6 h3 r1/3 István Angyal 21 Hungary HUN
6 h4 r1/3 Washington Guzmán 17 Chile CHI
7 h3 r1/3 Werner Lehmann 20 Switzerland SUI
7 h4 r1/3 Franz Seltenheim Austria AUT