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Swimming at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Games:

Men's 200 metres Breaststroke

Swimming at the 1952 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games


Host City: Helsinki, Finland
Venue(s): Helsinki Swimming Stadium, Helsinki
Date Started: July 31, 1952
Date Finished: August 2, 1952

Gold: AUS John Davies
Silver: USA Bowen Stassforth
Bronze: GER Herbert Klein


For the first and last time in Olympic breaststroke history every finalist used the butterfly stroke as by the next Olympic Games the butterfly would be contested as a separate event. Although the German world record holder [Herbert Klein] was in the field there was no clear favourite for this race and the evenly matched performances of some of the main contenders in the heats and semi-finals did not help to resolve the issue of favouritism. Klein led the final at the halfway stage but was passed by Australia’s [John Davies] and [Bowen Stassforth] of the USA over the second half of the race. Although Davies had finished fourth in this event in 1948 in London, his victory in Helsinki was unexpected.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 John Davies 23 Australia AUS Gold OR
2 Bowen Stassforth 25 United States USA Silver
3 Herbert Klein 29 Germany GER Bronze
4 Nobuyasu Hirayama 18 Japan JPN
5 Takayoshi Kajikawa 18 Japan JPN
6 Jiro Nagasawa 20 Japan JPN
7 Maurice Lusien 25 France FRA
8 Ľudovít Komadel 24 Czechoslovakia TCH
4 h1 r2/3 Jerry Holan 21 United States USA
5 h1 r2/3 Monty Nitzkowski 22 United States USA
6 h1 r2/3 Daan Buijze 23 Netherlands NED
6 h2 r2/3 David Hawkins 18 Australia AUS
7 h1 r2/3 Orlando Cossani 19 Argentina ARG
7 h2 r2/3 Nikola Trojanović 23 Yugoslavia YUG
8 h1 r2/3 Leo Portelance 21 Canada CAN
8 h2 r2/3 Vladimir Borisenko Soviet Union URS
2 h1 r1/3 Pierre Joly dit Dumesnil 20 France FRA
3 h1 r1/3 Marek Petrusewicz 18 Poland POL
4 h1 r1/3 Juha Tikka 22 Finland FIN
4 h2 r1/3 Bengt Rask 24 Sweden SWE
4 h3 r1/3 Walter Ocampo 23 Mexico MEX
4 h4 r1/3 Pyotr Skripchenkov 26 Soviet Union URS
4 h5 r1/3 Adhemar Grijó Filho 20 Brazil BRA
4 h6 r1/3 Aulis Kähkönen 21 Finland FIN
5 h1 r1/3 Brian Barnes 18 Great Britain GBR
5 h2 r1/3 Ludovicus Schoenmaekers 20 Belgium BEL
5 h3 r1/3 Octavio Mobiglia 21 Brazil BRA
5 h4 r1/3 Blago Barbijeri 23 Yugoslavia YUG
5 h5 r1/3 Habib Suharko 23 Indonesia INA
5 h6 r1/3 Manuel Sanguily 19 Cuba CUB
6 h1 r1/3 René Kohn 19 Luxembourg LUX
6 h2 r1/3 Yury Kurchashov Soviet Union URS
6 h4 r1/3 Knud Gleie 17 Denmark DEN
6 h6 r1/3 Vlastimil Linhart 24 Czechoslovakia TCH
7 h2 r1/3 Alfons Oehy 26 Switzerland SUI
7 h4 r1/3 Vladimír Skovajsa 23 Czechoslovakia TCH
7 h6 r1/3 Awad Moukhtar Halloudah 21 Egypt EGY
8 h2 r1/3 Muhammad Bashir 17 Pakistan PAK
8 h6 r1/3 Eduardo Barbeiro 20 Portugal POR
AC h3 r1/3 Giorgio Grilz 21 Italy ITA DQ