Swimming at the 1908 Summer Olympics – Men's 100 metre freestyle

The men's 100 metre freestyle was one of six swimming events on the swimming at the 1908 Summer Olympics programme.[1] It was the shortest of the three individual freestyle events, as the 50 yard freestyle had been dropped after its one appearance on the 1904 Summer Olympics programme. The 100 metre event was contested for the third time after it had been held at the 1896 and 1906 Olympics. The 1904 Olympics saw a 100-yard event. The competition was held on Friday July 17, 1908 and Monday July 20, 1908.

Men's 100 metre freestyle
at the Games of the IV Olympiad
VenueWhite City Stadium
DatesJuly 17
July 20
Competitors34 from 12 nations
Charles Daniels  United States
Zoltán Halmay  Hungary
Harald Julin  Sweden

Thirty-four swimmers from twelve nations competed.

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).


These were the standing world and Olympic records (in minutes) prior to the 1908 Summer Olympics.

World Record 1:05.8 Zoltán Halmay Vienna (AUT) December 3, 1905
Olympic Record 1:22.2 Alfréd Hajós Athens (GRE) April 11, 1896 (NS)
1:13.0(*) Charles Daniels Athens (GRE) April 26, 1906 (NS)
1:02.8(**) Zoltán Halmay St. Louis (USA) September 5, 1904

(*) Intercalated Games

(**) 100 yards (91.44 m)

In the first heat Zoltán Halmay set a new Olympic record with 1:08.2. In the fifth heat Charles Daniels and in the seventh heat Wilfred Edwards equalized the standing world record of 1:05.8. Finally Charles Daniels set a new world record with 1:05.6 in the final.


First round

The fastest swimmer in each heat and the two fastest losers advanced, qualifying 11 swimmers for the semifinals.

Heat 1

1 Zoltán Halmay (HUN)1:08.2 ORQS
2 Theodore Tartakover (ANZ)Unknown
3-6 Davide Baiardo (ITA)Unknown
 Bouke Benenga (NED)Unknown
 Harald Klem (DEN)Unknown
 Herman Meyboom (BEL)Unknown

Heat 2

1 Otto Scheff (AUT)1:11.8QS
2 Addin Tyldesley (GBR)1:12.0qs
3-5 Gérard Meister (FRA)Unknown
 József Munk (HUN)Unknown
 Conrad Trubenbach (USA)Unknown

Heat 3

1 Frank Beaurepaire (ANZ)1:11.6QS
2 Lamme Benenga (NED)1:13.2
3-5 Robert Andersson (SWE)Unknown
 Henrik Hajós (HUN)Unknown
 Poul Holm (DEN)Unknown

Heat 4

1 Harald Julin (SWE)1:12.0QS
2 John Derbyshire (GBR)1:12.6
3-4 Victor Boin (BEL)Unknown
 Robert Foster (USA)Unknown

Heat 5

1 Charles Daniels (USA)1:05.8 =WRQS
2 József Ónody (HUN)1:13.2
3 George Innocent (GBR)Unknown
4-5 René André (FRA)Unknown
 Hjalmar Saxtorph (DEN)Unknown

Heat 6

1 Harry Hebner (USA)1:11.0QS
2 Paul Radmilovic (GBR)1:12.0qs
3-4 Edward Cooke (ANZ)Unknown
 Fernand Feyaerts (BEL)Unknown

Heat 7

1 Wilfred Edwards (GBR)1:05.8 =WRQS
2 Robert Zimmerman (CAN)1:35.0

Heat 8

Dockrell had no competition in the eighth heat.

1 George Dockrell (GBR)1:13.2QS

Heat 9

1 Leslie Rich (USA)1:14.6QS
2 André Duprez (BEL)1:18.0


The fastest two swimmers from each semifinal advanced to the final.

Semifinal 1

1 Zoltán Halmay (HUN)1:09.4QF
2 Harald Julin (SWE)1:10.2QF
3 Harry Hebner (USA)1:11.8
4 Frank Beaurepaire (ANZ)Unknown
5-6 Wilfred Edwards (GBR)Unknown
 Paul Radmilovic (GBR)Unknown

Semifinal 2

1 Charles Daniels (USA)1:10.2QF
2 Leslie Rich (USA)1:10.8QF
3 George Dockrell (GBR)1:11.4
4 Otto Scheff (AUT)Unknown
5 Addin Tyldesley (GBR)Unknown


1 Charles Daniels (USA)1:05.6 WR
2 Zoltán Halmay (HUN)1:06.2
3 Harald Julin (SWE)1:08.0
4 Leslie Rich (USA)Unknown



  • Cook, Theodore Andrea (1908). The Fourth Olympiad, Being the Official Report. London: British Olympic Association.
  • De Wael, Herman (2001). "Swimming 1908". Herman's Full Olympians. Retrieved 12 May 2006.
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