Water polo at the 1900 Summer Olympics

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Men's water polo
at the Games of the II Olympiad
Venue River Seine
Dates August 11 (quarterfinals)
August 12 (semifinals and final)
Competitors 58 from 4 nations
Medalists
1st, gold medalist(s) Osborne Swimming Club
 Great Britain
2nd, silver medalist(s) Brussels Swimming and Water Polo Club
 Belgium
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Libellule de Paris
 France
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Pupilles de Neptune de Lille
 France
1904

A water polo tournament was held on the Seine on 11 and 12 August 1900 as part of the 1900 Summer Olympics. Eight teams from four countries, all European, entered the event, although only seven ended up playing. The Osborne Swimming Club of Manchester, England, which has been listed with two rosters that are nearly entirely different, became the first Olympic water polo champions by defeating the Brussels Swimming and Water Polo Club of Belgium. Third place went to the two French-based semi-finalists, Libellule de Paris and Pupilles de Neptune de Lille, the latter of whom entered two teams, but merged them together after the first round.

Background[edit]

Water polo, and team sport in general, made its Olympic debut at the 1900 Summer Games held in Paris, France. The tournament was to be played by the less violent and more restrictive "English rules", which, along with the cost of traveling to Paris, deterred any American teams from participating.[1] Seven teams, representing at least four countries, took part in the competition. Four squads were based in the host nation: two from Pupilles de Neptune de Lille and one each from Libellule de Paris and Tritons Lillois. The Brussels Swimming and Water Polo Club, Berliner Swimming Club, and Osborne Swimming Club were based in Belgium, Germany, and Manchester, Great Britain respectively.[2] A second squad from the Osborne Swimming Club was entered, but did not participate.[3]

Team composition[edit]

John Arthur Jarvis is listed on a roster contemporary to the Games as having competed for the Osborne Swimming Club.
Fernand Feyaerts, pictured in 1916, was a member of the Brussels Swimming and Water Polo Club.
Bill Burgess, pictured in 1911, was British, but competed for the French club Libellule de Paris.
Paul Vasseur, pictured in 1920, was also on the Libellule de Paris squad.

The composition of several of the teams in Paris differs across sources and not all teams were composed solely of members who were nationals of the countries in which their clubs were based. Libellule de Paris has been listed as having a player by the name of "Devenot", but Olympic historian Bill Mallon identifies this player as Jules Clévenot, who also competed in swimming events at the Games.[notes 1] Their squad also included Bill Burgess, a Briton who would later become the second man to swim across the English Channel.[4] The first Pupilles de Neptune de Lille team contained a Belgian national, Philippe Houben.[5] Three members of this squad, Favier, Leriche, and Charles Treffel, joined the second Pupilles de Neptune de Lille team after the first was eliminated from the tournament. They seem to have replaced four players, Camelin, Fiolet, Gellé, and Louis Marc, who competed for the second Pupilles de Neptune de Lille lineup only in the first round.[notes 1]

German sources do not list Hans Aniol, Max Hainle, or Herbert von Petersdorff as members of the Berliner Swimming Club, mentioning Gustav Erpf, Asmus Simonsen, and Max Schöne instead, but Mallon notes that there is proof contemporary to the tournament for the participation of only the former trio. Three members of the Brussels Swimming and Water Polo Club, Georges Romas, Guillaume Séron, and A. R. Upton, are also left off of some lists despite evidence that they participated in the first round.[notes 1] The roster for the Osborne Swimming Club as listed by the International Olympic Committee is Thomas Coe, John Henry Derbyshire, Peter Kemp, William Lister, Arthur G. Robertson, Eric Robinson, and George Wilkinson. Lister, however, had died two weeks prior to the Games,[3] while Derbyshire, Robinson, and Wilkinson all played water polo matches in England either during the tournament or too soon after it to have traveled back from Paris in time. A list of players contemporary to the match does not include Robertson, but does list Coe and Kemp in addition to Robert Crawshaw, William Henry, John Arthur Jarvis, Victor Lindberg, and Frederick Stapleton.[3] Lindberg has been considered the first New Zealand Olympian,[6] although he "was born in Fiji to Swedish and Irish parents, lived in New Zealand from a young age and, in Paris, represented a British club."[3]

Full rosters[edit]

All entries are listed as per Mallon's "The 1900 Olympic Games" unless otherwise noted:[notes 2]

Place Team Nation Players
1 Osborne Swimming Club[notes 3]  Great Britain Thomas Coe
Robert Crawshaw
William Henry
John Arthur Jarvis
Peter Kemp
Victor Lindberg
Frederick Stapleton
2 Brussels Swimming and Water Polo Club  Belgium Jean de Backer
Victor de Behr
Henri Cohen
Fernand Feyaerts
Oscar Grégoire
Albert Michant
Georges Romas
Guillaume Séron
Victor Sonnemans
A. R. Upton
3 Libellule de Paris  France Bill Burgess
Jules Clévenot / Devenot
Alphonse Decuyper
Louis Laufray
Henri Peslier
Pesloy
Paul Vasseur
Pupilles de Neptune de Lille #2  France Camelin
Eugène Coulon
Fardelle
Favier
Fiolet
Gellé
Leriche
Louis Marc
Louis Martin
Désiré Mérchez
Charles Treffel
5 Berliner Swimming Club  Germany Hans Aniol
Paul Gebauer
Max Hainle
Georg Hax
Gustav Lexau
Herbert von Petersdorff
Fritz Schneider
Pupilles de Neptune de Lille #1  France Favier
Philippe Houben
Leriche
Georges Leuillieux
E. Martin
René Tartara
Charles Treffel
Tritons Lillois  France J. Bertrand[notes 4]
Victor Cadet[notes 5]
Maurice Hochepied
Leclerq
Tisserand
Charles Devendeville
Jules Verbecke[notes 6]

Tournament results[edit]

The Seine, pictured in 2010, was the venue for the water polo tournament at the 1900 Summer Olympics.

The water polo tournament was held at the river Seine,[7] with the first round taking place on 11 August. Osborne defeated Tritons Lillois in a 12–0 shutout, with Jarvis scoring at least six of the goals. Brussels also shutout the first Pupilles de Neptune de Lille squad 2–0, while the latter's second team defeated Berliner 3–2. Libellule de Paris received a bye and the losing teams were eliminated from the tournament.[2] The semi-finals took place on 12 August, with Osborne defeating the remaining Pupilles de Neptune de Lille squad 10–1 (with Martin scoring the lone goal for the French team) and Brussels winning against Libellule de Paris 5–1.[3] The final was held on the same day, with Osborne overcoming Brussels 7–2. Osborne, with the medal later credited to Great Britain,[2] became the first Olympic water polo champions and "descriptions of the matches make it appear that they won as they wished, and the margins could have been larger, had they pressed the matter".[3] Belgium has been retroactively credited with silver (medals were not handed out for many events at the 1900 Summer Olympics),[6] while the two French semi-finalists have been seen as the bronze medalists.[3]

Summary[edit]

First round
11 August
Semi-finals
12 August
Finals
12 August
       
  Osborne Swimming Club (GBR)  12
  Tritons Lillois (FRA)  0  
 Osborne Swimming Club  10
     Pupilles de Neptune de Lille #2  1  
  Pupilles de Neptune de Lille #2 (FRA)  3
  Berliner Swimming Club (GER)  2  
 Osborne Swimming Club  7
   
   Brussels Swimming and Water Polo Club  2
  Brussels Swimming and Water Polo Club (BEL)  2
  Pupilles de Neptune de Lille #1 (FRA)  0  
 Brussels Swimming and Water Polo Club  5
     Libellule de Paris  1  
  Libellule de Paris (FRA)  
 Bye    
 

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Mallon 227
  2. ^ Mallon 225
  3. ^ Gjerde, Arild; Jeroen Heijmans; Bill Mallon; Hilary Evans (December 2016). "Water Polo at the 1900 Paris Summer Games". Olympics. Sports Reference.com. Retrieved 7 December 2016. 
  4. ^ Gjerde, Arild; Jeroen Heijmans; Bill Mallon; Hilary Evans (December 2016). "J. Bertrand Bio, Stats, and Results". Olympics. Sports Reference.com. Retrieved 7 December 2016. 
  5. ^ Gjerde, Arild; Jeroen Heijmans; Bill Mallon; Hilary Evans (December 2016). "Victor Cadet Bio, Stats, and Results". Olympics. Sports Reference.com. Retrieved 7 December 2016. 
  6. ^ Gjerde, Arild; Jeroen Heijmans; Bill Mallon; Hilary Evans (December 2016). "Jules Verbecke Bio, Stats, and Results". Olympics. Sports Reference.com. Retrieved 7 December 2016. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ Zahensky, Kenneth; Egan, Tracie (15 December 2014). An Insider's Guide to Water Polo. New York City: Rosen Publishing. pp. 9–10. ISBN 1477780882. 
  2. ^ a b c Mallon, Bill (1 December 1997). The 1900 Olympic Games: Results for All Competitors in All Events, with Commentary. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. pp. 224–227. ISBN 0786489529. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Gjerde, Arild; Jeroen Heijmans; Bill Mallon; Hilary Evans (December 2016). "Water Polo at the 1900 Paris Summer Games". Olympics. Sports Reference.com. Retrieved 7 December 2016. 
  4. ^ Gjerde, Arild; Jeroen Heijmans; Bill Mallon; Hilary Evans (December 2016). "Bill Burgess Bio, Stats, and Results". Olympics. Sports Reference.com. Retrieved 7 December 2016. 
  5. ^ Gjerde, Arild; Jeroen Heijmans; Bill Mallon; Hilary Evans (December 2016). "Philippe Houben Bio, Stats, and Results". Olympics. Sports Reference.com. Retrieved 7 December 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Munro, Bruce (2 August 2016). "A nation strikes gold". Otago Daily Times. Allied Press. Retrieved 7 December 2016. 
  7. ^ Gjerde, Arild; Jeroen Heijmans; Bill Mallon; Hilary Evans (December 2016). "Water Polo at the 1900 Paris Summer Games". Olympics. Sports Reference.com. Retrieved 7 December 2016.