You Are Here > > > > > Women's 400 metres Freestyle

Swimming at the 1948 London Summer Games:

Women's 400 metres Freestyle

Swimming at the 1948 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games


Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Wembley Arena, Wembley, London
Date Started: August 5, 1948
Date Finished: August 7, 1948

Gold: USA Ann Curtis
Silver: DEN Karen Margrethe Harup
Bronze: GBR Cathie Gibson


The same protagonists from the 100m were favoured in the 400m freestyle although American [Ann Curtis] was considered stronger at this event than at the shorter distances. The shock of the heats was the collapse of the 100m gold medallist and hot favourite, [Greta Andersen], who blacked out in the water just beyond the 200m mark and had to be rescued from the pool. [Karen Margrethe Harup], also of Denmark, broke the Olympic record in the semi-finals and emerged as the greatest threat to an American victory. In the final Curtis held her effort until the final 100m then breezed past the opposition to record a clear victory. Harup narrowly held on to silver with a fast finishing [Cathie Gibson] gaining the host nation’s only aquatic medal of the 1948 games with the bronze

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinalSemi-FinalsRound One

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Ann Curtis 22 United States USA Gold OR
2 Karen Margrethe Harup 23 Denmark DEN Silver
3 Cathie Gibson 17 Great Britain GBR Bronze
4 Fernande Caroen 27 Belgium BEL
5 Brenda Helser 24 United States USA
6 Piedade Coutinho-Tavares 28 Brazil BRA
7 Fritze Carstensen 23 Denmark DEN
8 Nancy Lees 22 United States USA
5 h1 r2/3 Patricia Nielsen 18 Great Britain GBR
5 h2 r2/3 Colette Thomas 19 France FRA
6 h1 r2/3 Magda Bruggemann Mexico MEX
6 h2 r2/3 Denise Spencer 18 Australia AUS
7 h1 r2/3 Vivian King 18 Canada CAN
7 h2 r2/3 Margaret Wellington 21 Great Britain GBR
8 h2 r2/3 Eileen Holt Argentina ARG
4 h1 r1/3 Gisela Thidholm 18 Sweden SWE
6 h1 r1/3 Kay McNamee 17 Canada CAN
7 h1 r1/3 Enriqueta Duarte 19 Argentina ARG
AC h3 r1/3 Greta Andersen 21 Denmark DEN DNF