Swimming at the 1920 Summer Olympics – Men's 100 metre freestyle

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Men's 100 metre freestyle
at the Games of the VII Olympiad
Venue Stade Nautique d'Antwerp
Dates August 22–29
Competitors 31 from 15 nations
Gold medal    United States
Silver medal    United States
Bronze medal    United States
1912 1924
Swimming at the
1920 Summer Olympics
Swimming pictogram.svg
100 m men   women
300 m   women
400 m men  
1500 m men
100 m men
200 m men  
400 m men
Freestyle relay
4×100 m   women
4×200 m men  

The men's 100 metre freestyle was a swimming event held as part of the swimming at the 1920 Summer Olympics programme.[1] It was the fourth appearance of the event.

A total of 31 swimmers from 15 nations competed in the event, which was held from August 22 to August 29, 1920. The United States swept the medals, and Duke Kahanamoku broke his own Olympic record in the semifinals and bettered his time again in the final to successfully defend his championship from 1912.


These were the standing world and Olympic records (in minutes) prior to the 1920 Summer Olympics.

World Record 1:01.4 United States Duke Kahanamoku New York City (USA) August 9, 1918
Olympic Record 1:02.4 United States Duke Kahanamoku Stockholm (SWE) July 7, 1912

In the first heat Duke Kahanamoku set a new Olympic record with 1:01.8 minutes. In the semi-final he equalled the standing world record with 1:01.4 minutes. In the final which was later re-swum Kahanamoku set a new world record with 1:00.4 minutes, in the second final he equalled his record of 1:01.4 minutes again.



The fastest two in each heat and the fastest third-placed from across the heats advanced.

Heat 1

Place Swimmer Time Qual.
1  Duke Kahanamoku (USA) 1:01.8 Q OR
2  Keith Kirkland (AUS) 1:08.0 Q
3  Jean van Silfhout (NED) 1:09.0
4  Georges Pouilley (FRA)
5  Albert Dickin (GBR)

Heat 2

Place Swimmer Time Qual.
1  Agostino Frassinetti (ITA) 1:11.8 Q
2  Václav Bucháček (TCH) 1:19.2 Q
3  Ângelo Gammaro (BRA) 1:22.0
4  Harold Annison (GBR)

Heat 3

Place Swimmer Time Qual.
1  Pua Kealoha (USA) 1:02.0 Q
2  Ivan Stedman (AUS) 1:04.2 Q
3  Henri Padou (FRA) 1:08.4
4  Martial van Schelle (BEL)
5  Jean Jenni (SUI)
6  Kenkichi Saito (JPN)

Heat 4

Place Swimmer Time Qual.
1  George Vernot (CAN) 1:05.2 Q
2  Henry Hay (AUS) 1:06.8 Q
3  Orvar Trolle (SWE) 1:07.8 q
4  Léon Pesch (LUX)
5  Leslie Savage (GBR)
6  Orlando Amêndola (BRA)
7  Gérard Blitz (BEL)

Heat 5

Place Swimmer Time Qual.
1  Norman Ross (USA) 1:04.2 Q
2  William Herald (AUS) 1:08.8 Q
3  Mario Massa (ITA) 1:10.4
4  Rémy Weil (FRA)
5  Masaren Uchida (JPN)

Heat 6

Place Swimmer Time Qual.
1  Bill Harris (USA) 1:04.4 Q
2  Ko Korsten (NED) 1:05.6 Q
3  John Dickin (GBR) 1:10.0
4  Alfred Steen (NOR)


The fastest two in each semi-final and the faster of the two third-placed swimmer advanced to the final.

Semifinal 1

Place Swimmer Time Qual.
1  Duke Kahanamoku (USA) 1:01.4 Q =WR
2  Bill Harris (USA) 1:04.2 Q
3  George Vernot (CAN) 1:05.8
4  Agostino Frassinetti (ITA)
5  Václav Bucháček (TCH)
6  Henry Hay (AUS)

Semifinal 2

Place Swimmer Time Qual.
1  Pua Kealoha (USA) 1:02.4 Q
2  Norman Ross (USA) 1:04.8 Q
3  William Herald (AUS) 1:05.8 q
4  Ivan Stedman (AUS)
5  Orvar Trolle (SWE)
6  Keith Kirkland (AUS)
7  Ko Korsten (NED)


In the first final Norman Ross finished fourth and William Herald finished fifth, but a second final was run after a protest by Herald, claiming that Ross had fouled him. For the second run Ross was disqualified. None of the medal ranks changed.

Place Swimmer Time (1st) Time (2nd)
1  Duke Kahanamoku (USA) 1:00.4 WR 1:01.4 =WR
2  Pua Kealoha (USA) 1:02.2 1:02.6
3  Bill Harris (USA) 1:03.2 1:03.0
4  William Herald (AUS) 1:03.8
 Norman Ross (USA) 1:03.8 DSQ


  1. ^ "Swimming at the 1920 Antwerp Summer Games: Men's 100 metres Freestyle". Sports Reference. Retrieved 28 August 2016. 


  • Belgium Olympic Committee (1957). Olympic Games Antwerp 1920: Official Report (in French). 
  • Wudarski, Pawel (1999). "Wyniki Igrzysk Olimpijskich" (in Polish). Retrieved 25 April 2008.