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Swimming at the 1968 Ciudad de México Summer Games:

Men's 400 metres Freestyle

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Host City: Ciudad de México, Mexico
Venue(s): Francisco Márquez Olympic Swimming Pool, Ciudad de México
Date Started: October 22, 1968
Date Finished: October 23, 1968

Gold: USA Mike Burton
Silver: CAN Ralph Hutton
Bronze: FRA Alain Mosconi

Summary

Since the 1964 Olympics the world record has been improved 10 times by seven different swimmers, with the most recent mark being 4:06.5, set by Canada’s Ralph Hutton at Lincoln, Nebraska in August 1968. He was considered co-favorite with America’s Mike Burton, a long-distance specialist who was even better at 800 and 1,500 metres. Burton had been sick in Mexico City and almost withdrew, and then started the 400 final by false starting. But when the race started for real he quickly moved to the lead. He and Hutton then exchanged the lead over the next few laps until Burton moved ahead at 300 metres. At that point Burton’s strength proved crucial and he pulled further away on the final two laps to win over Hutton by 2.7 seconds. Alain Mosconi (FRA), twice a world record holder in the event, swam a tactical race for the bronze medal. A few days later, Burton would come back and win the 1,500 metres, a gold medal which he would repeat in 1972.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Mike Burton 21 United States USA Gold OR
2 Ralph Hutton 20 Canada CAN Silver
3 Alain Mosconi 19 France FRA Bronze
4 Greg Brough 17 Australia AUS
5 Graham White 17 Australia AUS
6 John Nelson 20 United States USA
7 Hans Faßnacht 17 West Germany FRG
8 Brent Berk 19 United States USA
2 h1 r1/2 Francis Luyce 21 France FRA
2 h2 r1/2 Semyon Belits-Geyman 23 Soviet Union URS
2 h4 r1/2 Greg Rogers 20 Australia AUS
2 h5 r1/2 Gunnar Larsson 17 Sweden SWE
3 h1 r1/2 Władysław Wojtakajtis 19 Poland POL
3 h2 r1/2 Guillermo Echevarría 20 Mexico MEX
3 h3 r1/2 Jean-François Ravelinghien 21 France FRA
3 h4 r1/2 Akhmed Anarbayev 20 Soviet Union URS
3 h5 r1/2 Pano Capéronis 21 Switzerland SUI
3 h6 r1/2 Juan Alanís 22 Mexico MEX
4 h1 r1/2 Mátyás Borlói 16 Hungary HUN
4 h2 r1/2 Julio Arango 18 Colombia COL
4 h3 r1/2 Werner Krammel 19 West Germany FRG
4 h4 r1/2 Fernando González 18 Ecuador ECU
4 h5 r1/2 Ørjan Madsen 22 Norway NOR
4 h6 r1/2 Ron Jacks 20 Canada CAN
5 h1 r1/2 Gregorio Fiallo 16 Cuba CUB
5 h2 r1/2 Alfred Müller 20 East Germany GDR
5 h3 r1/2 Jorge Urreta 18 Mexico MEX
5 h4 r1/2 Friedrich Jokisch 15 El Salvador ESA
5 h5 r1/2 Sven von Holst 20 Sweden SWE
5 h6 r1/2 Jorge González 19 Puerto Rico PUR
6 h1 r1/2 Michael Goodner 15 Puerto Rico PUR
6 h2 r1/2 Csaba Csatlós 18 Hungary HUN
6 h3 r1/2 Ronnie Wong 16 Hong Kong HKG
6 h5 r1/2 Tony Asamali 21 Philippines PHI
6 h6 r1/2 Rubén Guerrero 13 El Salvador ESA
7 h2 r1/2 Bob Loh 22 Hong Kong HKG
7 h5 r1/2 Andrew Loh 19 Hong Kong HKG