Swimming at the 1936 Summer Olympics – Women's 200 metre breaststroke

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Women's 200 metre breaststroke
at the Games of the XI Olympiad
Venue Olympiapark Schwimmstadion Berlin
Date 8 August (heats)
9 August (semifinals)
11 August (final)
Competitors 23 from 12 nations
Winning time 3:03.6
1st, gold medalist(s) Hideko Maehata  Japan
2nd, silver medalist(s) Martha Genenger  Germany
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Inge Sørensen  Denmark
← 1932
1948 →
Swimming at the
1936 Summer Olympics
Swimming pictogram.svg
100 m men   women
400 m men   women
1500 m men
100 m men   women
200 m men   women
Freestyle relay
4×100 m   women
4×200 m men  

The women's 200 metre breaststroke event, included in the swimming competition at the 1936 Summer Olympics, took place on August 8–11, at the Olympiapark Schwimmstadion Berlin. In this event, swimmers covered four lengths of the 50-metre (160 ft) Olympic-sized pool employing the breaststroke. It was the fourth appearance of the event, which first appeared at the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris. A total of 23 competitors from 12 nations participated in the event.[1] The world record holder at the time, Japanese Hideko Maehata, won the event four years after losing the gold medal to Australian Clare Dennis by one tenth of a second. Fourteen-year-old German silver medalist Martha Genenger broke the Olympic record in her heat on August 8, but Maebata broke it again in the next heat with a time of 3:01.9 seconds.[1] Danish Inge Sørensen won the bronze medal, becoming the youngest ever female Olympic medalist (12 years, 24 days).[2] Sørensen's compatriot Valborg Christensen was favoured to win a medal in this event, but she was eliminated after finishing fifth in her semifinal.[3]


Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were:

World record  Hideko Maehata (JPN) 3:00.4 s Tokyo, Japan 30 September 1933
Olympic record  Clare Dennis (AUS) 3:06.3 s Los Angeles, United States 9 August 1932

The following records were established during the competition:

Date Round Name Nationality Time OR WR
August 8 Heat 2 Martha Genenger  Germany 3:02.9 OR
August 8 Heat 3 Hideko Maehata  Japan 3:01.9 OR



The three fastest swimmers of each heat and the next two fastest swimmers overall (Hanni Hölzner and Dorothy Schiller) advanced to the semifinals on 9 August.[7]

Heat 1[edit]

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 Sørensen, IngeInge Sørensen  Denmark 3:06.7 Q
2 Isberg, KerstinKerstin Isberg  Sweden 3:08.7 Q
3 Waalberg, JopieJopie Waalberg  Netherlands 3:10.4 Q
4 Hölzner, HanniHanni Hölzner  Germany 3:11.0 q
5 Schiller, DorothyDorothy Schiller  United States 3:17.4 q
6 Kingston, VeraVera Kingston  Great Britain 3:21.7
7 Langdon, JoanJoan Langdon  Canada 3:24.3

Heat 2[edit]

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 Genenger, MarthaMartha Genenger  Germany 3:02.9 Q, OR
2 Kastein, JennyJenny Kastein  Netherlands 3:07.8 Q
3 Tsuboi, UnokoUnoko Tsuboi  Japan 3:15.0 Q
4 Lappalainen, AnjaAnja Lappalainen  Finland 3:19.1
5 Govednik, AnnAnn Govednik  United States 3:25.3

Heat 3[edit]

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 Maehata, HidekoHideko Maehata  Japan 3:01.9 Q, OR
2 Christensen, ValborgValborg Christensen  Denmark 3:07.8 Q
3 Gomm, MargaretMargaret Gomm  Great Britain 3:15.7 Q
4 Cummings, IrisIris Cummings  United States 3:21.9
5 Boubelová, EliškaEliška Boubelová  Czechoslovakia 3:25.8
6 Wyss, TennyTenny Wyss  Switzerland 3:31.3

Heat 4[edit]

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 Wollschläger, TrudeTrude Wollschläger  Germany 3:08.5 Q
2 Storey, DorisDoris Storey  Great Britain 3:10.8 Q
3 Lenk, MariaMaria Lenk  Brazil 3:17.2 Q
4 Nielsen, EdelEdel Nielsen  Denmark 3:21.3
5 Stroomberg, JoJo Stroomberg  Netherlands 3:22.5


The three fastest swimmers of both semifinals and the best fourth-place finisher advanced to the final on 11 August.[7]

Semifinal 1[edit]

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 Maehata, HidekoHideko Maehata  Japan 3:03.1 Q
2 Sørensen, IngeInge Sørensen  Denmark 3:06.0 Q
3 Hölzner, HanniHanni Hölzner  Germany 3:08.8 Q
4 Waalberg, JopieJopie Waalberg  Netherlands 3:09.7 Q
5 Wollschläger, TrudeTrude Wollschläger  Germany 3:10.3
6 Lenk, MariaMaria Lenk  Brazil 3:17.7

Semifinal 2[edit]

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 Genenger, MarthaMartha Genenger  Germany 3:02.8 Q
2 Kastein, JennyJenny Kastein  Netherlands 3:09.2 Q
3 Storey, DorisDoris Storey  Great Britain 3:09.8 Q
4 Isberg, KerstinKerstin Isberg  Sweden 3:11.4
5 Christensen, ValborgValborg Christensen  Denmark 3:14.1
6 Tsuboi, UnokoUnoko Tsuboi  Japan 3:18.4
7 Schiller, DorothyDorothy Schiller  United States 3:18.5


Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1st, gold medalist(s) Maehata, HidekoHideko Maehata  Japan 3:03.6
2nd, silver medalist(s) Genenger, MarthaMartha Genenger  Germany 3:04.2
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Sørensen, IngeInge Sørensen  Denmark 3:07.8
4 Hölzner, HanniHanni Hölzner  Germany 3:09.5
4 Waalberg, JopieJopie Waalberg  Netherlands 3:09.5
6 Storey, DorisDoris Storey  Great Britain 3:09.7
7 Kastein, JennyJenny Kastein  Netherlands 3:12.8




  1. ^ a b "Swimming at the 1936 Berlin Summer Games: Women's 200 metres Breaststroke". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference, LLC. Retrieved June 29, 2012. 
  2. ^ Sherwani, Sabey (August 24, 2008). "Who is the youngest Olympic gold medallist?". The Times of India. The Times Group. Retrieved June 29, 2012. 
  3. ^ Vinson, Maribel Y. (July 19, 1936). "Women in Sports". The New York Times. Arthur Hays Sulzberger. p. S2. 
  4. ^ "Japanese Natators Broke 11 Records". The Washington Post. Eugene Meyer. December 24, 1936. p. 16. 
  5. ^ a b Limpert 1937, p. 971.
  6. ^ "Olympic Records Yesterday; Swimming". The New York Times. Arthur Hays Sulzberger. August 9, 1936. p. S1. 
  7. ^ a b Limpert 1937, p. 972.