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Swimming at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games:

Men's 400 metres Freestyle

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Host City: Melbourne, Australia
Venue(s): Olympic Park Swimming and Diving Stadium, Melbourne, Victoria
Date Started: December 1, 1956
Date Finished: December 4, 1956

Gold: AUS Murray Rose
Silver: JPN Tsuyoshi Yamanaka
Bronze: USA George Breen


In October 17-year-old Australian [Murray Rose] set the fastest time ever recorded for the distance in a 50 metre pool. This served as a prelude to a hugely successful Olympic Games for the teenager.

Rose’s first victory of the three he obtained in Melbourne came in this event.

Starting conservatively, Rose pulled away from the other swimmers over the second half of the race to win ahead of [Tsuyoshi Yamanaka] and [George Breen]. The three men would repeat their finishing positions in the 1500 m later in the Games.

The winning time was narrowly outside [Ford Konno]‘s world record but when FINA changed their rules in 1957 to disallow times set in 25 m pools it became recognised as the world record.

Rose went on to successfully defend his title four years later in Rome.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinalRound One

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Murray Rose 17 Australia AUS Gold WR
2 Tsuyoshi Yamanaka 17 Japan JPN Silver
3 George Breen 21 United States USA Bronze
4 Kevin O'Halloran 19 Australia AUS
5 Hans Zierold 18 Germany GER
6 Gary Winram 20 Australia AUS
7 Koji Nonoshita Japan JPN
8 Angelo Romani 22 Italy ITA
1 h2 r1/2 Jack Wardrop 24 Great Britain GBR
2 h2 r1/2 Tony Briscoe South Africa RSA
2 h3 r1/2 Peter Duncan 21 South Africa RSA
2 h4 r1/2 Jean Boiteux 23 France FRA
3 h2 r1/2 George Onekea 17 United States USA
3 h3 r1/2 Karri Käyhkö 18 Finland FIN
3 h4 r1/2 William Slater 16 Canada CAN
4 h1 r1/2 Bill Woolsey 22 United States USA
4 h2 r1/2 Hans Köhler 20 Germany GER
4 h3 r1/2 Yoshiro Noda 20 Japan JPN
4 h4 r1/2 Neil McKechnie 17 Great Britain GBR
4 h5 r1/2 Jenő Áts 20 Hungary HUN
5 h1 r1/2 Sylvio dos Santos 21 Brazil BRA
5 h2 r1/2 Habib Nasution 20 Indonesia INA
5 h3 r1/2 Guy Montserret 21 France FRA
5 h4 r1/2 Boris Nik'it'ini 18 Soviet Union URS
5 h5 r1/2 Jacques Collignon France FRA
6 h1 r1/2 Ulfiano Babol Philippines PHI
6 h2 r1/2 Per-Olof Östrand 26 Sweden SWE
6 h4 r1/2 Billy Steuart South Africa RSA
7 h1 r1/2 Wan Shiu Ming Hong Kong HKG
7 h2 r1/2 Gilberto Martínez Colombia COL
7 h4 r1/2 Bana Sailani 19 Philippines PHI
8 h2 r1/2 Raúl Martin 15 Cuba CUB