Swimming at the 1908 Summer Olympics

At the 1908 Summer Olympics in London, six swimming events were contested. These were the first Olympic Games in which a 100-metre pool had been especially constructed (inside the main stadium's track and field oval). Previous Olympic events were swum in open water (1896: The Mediterranean Sea, 1900: The Seine River, 1904: an artificial lake). Only men participated in the swimming events. The competitions were held from Monday, July 13, 1908, to Saturday, July 25, 1908.

All six of the 1908 events became staples of the Olympic swimming programme, and have been contested at every edition of the Games since. The 50 m, 200 m, and 800 m freestyle events were dropped from the previous edition (though the 50 m and 200 m would later return), the relay was lengthened from 4×50 yards to 4×200 m, and the 400 m breaststroke was shortened to 200 metres.

Canada and Finland made their first appearances in swimming, while Austria, Hungary, and the United States continued their streaks of appearing each time. Fourteen nations competed in all, with 100 swimmers entering the events.

Medal table

1 Great Britain (GBR)4217
2 United States (USA)1012
3 Germany (GER)1001
4 Hungary (HUN)0202
5 Australasia (ANZ)0112
6 Denmark (DEN)0101
7 Sweden (SWE)0022
8 Austria (AUT)0011
Totals (8 nations)66618

Medal summary

Event Gold Silver Bronze
100 m freestyle
 Charles Daniels (USA)  Zoltán Halmay (HUN)  Harald Julin (SWE)
400 m freestyle
 Henry Taylor (GBR)  Frank Beaurepaire (ANZ)  Otto Scheff (AUT)
1500 m freestyle
 Henry Taylor (GBR)  Thomas Battersby (GBR)  Frank Beaurepaire (ANZ)
100 m backstroke
 Arno Bieberstein (GER)  Ludvig Dam (DEN)  Herbert Haresnape (GBR)
200 m breaststroke
 Frederick Holman (GBR)  William Robinson (GBR)  Pontus Hanson (SWE)
4 × 200 m
freestyle relay
 Great Britain (GBR)
John Derbyshire
Paul Radmilovic
William Foster
Henry Taylor
 Hungary (HUN)
József Munk
Imre Zachár
Béla Las-Torres
Zoltán Halmay
 United States (USA)
Harry Hebner
Leo Goodwin
Charles Daniels
Leslie Rich

Participating nations

A total of 100 swimmers from 14 nations competed at the London Games:


  • "Olympic Medal Winners". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 2008-03-19.
  • Cook, Theodore Andrea (May 1909). The Fourth Olympiad London 1908 Official Report (PDF). London: British Olympic Association. pp. 296–310. Retrieved 2008-03-19.
  • Mallon, Bill; Buchanan, Ian (February 2000). The 1908 Olympic Games: Results for All Competitors in All Events, With Commentary. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-0598-5.

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