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