Swimming at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 1200 metre freestyle

The men's 1200 metre freestyle was one of the four swimming events on the Swimming at the 1896 Summer Olympics programme.

Men's 1200 metre freestyle
at the Games of the I Olympiad
Swimming 1896.jpg
Swimming at the 1896 Summer Olympics
VenueBay of Zea
DateApril 11
Competitors9 from 4 nations
Winning time18:22.2
1st place, gold medalist(s) Alfréd Hajós
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Ioannis Andreou
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Efstathios Chorafas

The final swimming race was the longest. Despite having already won the 100 metre race, Hajós competed again in the 1,200 metres along with eight other swimmers. He won once again, finishing nearly 100 metres ahead of the rest of the field. Neumann, who had won the 500 metres, was unable to finish the 1,200. The places of Williams and the four Greeks who did not finish in the top three are unknown, as are the full names of all four of those Greeks and any part of the names of three of them.


This was the only appearance of a 1200 metre event. The 1900 Games had a 1000 metre freestyle before the 1 mile/1500 metre length became standard in 1904.[1]

Competition formatEdit

This freestyle swimming competition involved a single race, with all swimmers competing at the same time. The swimmers were taken out by ship into the bay, where they would swim toward shore.[1][2]


The 1,200 metre freestyle was the fourth and final swimming event.[2]

Date Time Round
Gregorian Julian
Saturday, 11 April 1896 Saturday, 30 March 1896 11:00 Final


Rank Swimmer Nation Time
  Alfréd Hajós   Hungary 18:22.2
  Ioannis Andreou   Greece 21:03.4
  Efstathios Chorafas   Greece Unknown
4–8 N. Kartavas   Greece Unknown
Gardner Williams   United States Unknown
Three others, names unknown   Greece Unknown
Paul Neumann   Austria DNF


  1. ^ a b "1,200 metres Freestyle, Men". Olympedia. Retrieved 18 December 2020.
  2. ^ a b Official Report, part 2, p. 97.