Swimming at the 1972 Summer Olympics – Men's 400 metre individual medley

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Swimming events at the
1972 Summer Olympics
Sample picture of the event (unofficial)
100 m men women
200 m men women
400 m men women
800 m women
1500 m men
100 m men women
200 m men women
100 m men women
200 m men women
100 m men women
200 m men women
Individual medley
200 m men women
400 m men women
Freestyle relay
4×100 m men women
4×200 m men
Medley relay
4×100 m men women

The men's 400 metre individual medley event at the 1972 Summer Olympics took place August 30. This swimming event used medley swimming. Because an Olympic size swimming pool is 50 metres long, this race consisted of eight lengths of the pool. The first two lengths were swum using the butterfly stroke, the second pair with the backstroke, the third pair of lengths in breaststroke, and the final two were freestyle. Unlike other events using freestyle, swimmers could not use butterfly, backstroke, or breaststroke for the freestyle leg; most swimmers use the front crawl in freestyle events.

Final with controversial margin[edit]

The final was won by Gunnar Larsson, who succeeded over second-placed Tim McKee by two thousandths of a second.[1] This margin in effect brought about a change in the competition, so that no swimming competition henceforward would have to be decided by a margin less than a hundredth of a second.[2]


Gold Gunnar Larsson
Silver Tim McKee
 United States
Bronze András Hargitay




Rank Athlete Country Time Notes
1 Gunnar Larsson Sweden 4:31.98(1) OR
2 Tim McKee United States 4:31.98(3) OR
3 András Hargitay Hungary 4:32.70
4 Steve Furniss United States 4:35.44
5 Gary Hall, Sr. United States 4:37.38
6 Bengt Gingsjö Sweden 4:37.96
7 Graham Windeatt Australia 4:40.39
8 Wolfram Sperling East Germany 4:40.66

Key: OR = Olympic record


  1. ^ "August 9, 2008." SwimmersWorld.com. Retrieved 2012-05-01.
  2. ^ "Munich 1972." Swedish Olympic Committee, 2008. Retrieved 2012-05-01.