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Swimming at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Games:

Women's 400 metres Freestyle

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

Gold: HUN Valéria Gyenge
Silver: HUN Éva Gérard-Novák
Bronze: USA Evelyn Kawamoto

Summary

The 400m Freestyle was destined to be a clash between Hungary, the USA and Denmark. The return of world record holder Ragnhild Hveger-Andersen, after a sixteen year Olympic absence, added to the talents of European champion Grete Andersen meant that Denmark would be well represented whilst a trio of talented Hungarians and the American pairing of Evelyn Kawamoto and Carolyn Green could not be discounted. For nearly 300 metres the impossible seemed about to happened as Hveger-Andersen, at 32 and coming back from a 7 year retirement, held off her younger rivals but her early efforts were in vain as four swimmers passed her. The gold medal was decided between two Hungarians, Valéria Gyenge and Éva Novák, with Gyenge edging her more experienced team-mate for the victory.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Valéria Gyenge 19 Hungary HUN Gold OR
2 Éva Gérard-Novák 22 Hungary HUN Silver
3 Evelyn Kawamoto 18 United States USA Bronze
4 Carolyn Green 18 United States USA
5 Ragnhild Hveger 31 Denmark DEN
6 Éva Székely 25 Hungary HUN
7 Ana María Schultz 16 Argentina ARG
8 Greta Andersen 25 Denmark DEN
5 h1 r2/3 Joan Harrison 16 South Africa RSA
5 h2 r2/3 Daphne Wilkinson 20 Great Britain GBR
6 h1 r2/3 Judy-Joy Davies 24 Australia AUS
6 h2 r2/3 Delia Meulenkamp 17 United States USA
7 h1 r2/3 Piedade Coutinho-Tavares 32 Brazil BRA
7 h2 r2/3 Denise Norton 18 Australia AUS
8 h2 r2/3 Huguette Peeters 15 Belgium BEL
3 h1 r1/3 Mette Ove Petersen 18 Denmark DEN
3 h3 r1/3 Colette Thomas 23 France FRA
4 h1 r1/3 Grace Wood 19 Great Britain GBR
4 h3 r1/3 Elisabeth Rechlin 22 Germany GER
4 h4 r1/3 Ingegerd Fredin 21 Sweden SWE
5 h1 r1/3 Kay McNamee 21 Canada CAN
5 h2 r1/3 Lillian Preece 24 Great Britain GBR
5 h3 r1/3 Hannie Termeulen 23 Netherlands NED
5 h4 r1/3 Ginette Jany-Sendral 20 France FRA
5 h5 r1/3 Marianne Lundquist 20 Sweden SWE
6 h1 r1/3 Geertje Wielema 17 Netherlands NED
6 h2 r1/3 Sybille Verckist 17 Belgium BEL
6 h3 r1/3 Gladys Priestley 14 Canada CAN
6 h4 r1/3 Irma Heijting-Schuhmacher 27 Netherlands NED
6 h5 r1/3 Josette Arène 27 France FRA
7 h2 r1/3 Ritva Järvinen 19 Finland FIN
7 h3 r1/3 Cynthia Eager 15 Hong Kong HKG
7 h4 r1/3 Sadako Yamashita 19 Japan JPN
7 h5 r1/3 Misako Tamura 18 Japan JPN