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Swimming at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Games:

Men's 100 metres Freestyle

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Host City: Helsinki, Finland
Venue(s): Helsinki Swimming Stadium, Helsinki
Date Started: July 26, 1952
Date Finished: July 27, 1952

Gold: USA Clarke Scholes
Silver: JPN Hiroshi Suzuki
Bronze: SWE Göran Larsson


A record entry of 61 swimmers from 33 different nations started the 100m Freestyle heats but that did not mean that standards were diluted, 49 times of under 60 seconds were recorded which was nearly double the total from 1948. Although no one swimmer was superior to the rest, the American [Dick Cleveland] emerged as a tentative favourite after showing excellent form prior to the Games but Cleveland was to disappoint and went out at the semi-final stage along with European champion [Alex Jany] of France. [Göran Larsson] of Sweden made a quick start in the final but was passed by the blonde haired American [Clark Scholes] before the half way mark. Scholes was put under pressure by [Hiroshi Suzuki] of Japan as they raced towards the finish but he held out to win the gold medal although the official times of the two were identical. Larsson finished third whilst just a third of a second separated the other five finalists.

[Carlo Pedersoli], an Italian who reached the semi-final, had already made his film debut with a minor role in “Quo Vadis” and would go on to a career in movies, most notably as a star in Italian “spaghetti westerns” of the 1960’s under the name “Bud Spencer”.

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