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

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.

Men's 100 metre freestyle
at the Games of the VII Olympiad
VenueStade Nautique d'Antwerp
DatesAugust 22–29
Competitors31 from 15 nations
Duke Kahanamoku  United States
Pua Kealoha  United States
Bill Harris  United States

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 Duke Kahanamoku New York City (USA) August 9, 1918
Olympic Record 1:02.4 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

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

Heat 2

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

Heat 3

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

Heat 4

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

Heat 5

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

Heat 6

1 Bill Harris (USA)1:04.4Q
2 Ko Korsten (NED)1:05.6Q
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

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

Semifinal 2

1 Pua Kealoha (USA)1:02.4Q
2 Norman Ross (USA)1:04.8Q
3 William Herald (AUS)1:05.8q
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.

PlaceSwimmerTime (1st)Time (2nd)
1 Duke Kahanamoku (USA)1:00.4 WR1:01.4 =WR
2 Pua Kealoha (USA)1:02.21:02.6
3 Bill Harris (USA)1:03.21:03.0
4 William Herald (AUS)1:03.8
 Norman Ross (USA)1:03.8 DSQ



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