You Are Here > SR/Olympics > Summer Games > 1912 Stockholm > Swimming > Men's 100 metres Freestyle

Swimming at the 1912 Stockholm Summer Games:

Men's 100 metres Freestyle

Swimming at the 1912 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games

Events:
Phases:

Host City: Stockholm, Sweden
Venue(s): Swimming Stadium, Djurgården Bay, Stockholm
Date Started: July 6, 1912
Date Finished: July 10, 1912

Gold: USA Duke Kahanamoku
Silver: ANZ Cecil Healy
Bronze: USA Ken Huszagh

Summary

The defending Olympic champion was America’s Charlie Daniels, who had won the gold medal in this event in both 1906 and 1908. At the beginning of 1912, Daniels also held the world record, having recorded 1:02.8 over 110 yards in New York on 15 April 1910. But Daniels had recently retired and did not compete at Stockholm. The favorite’s role in Stockholm probably fell to the German, Kurt Bretting, who on 6 April 1912, had broken Daniels’ world record with a mark of 1:02.4.

The Americans were led by the little known Hawaiian, Duke Kahanamoku. Kahanamoku had not competed in the American championships, because he was so far from the mainland in an era when travel was not easy, but supposedly he had set record times in his native Hawaii.

Controversy occurred in the semi-finals, which were scheduled for the evening of 7 July, only a few hours after the quarter-finals. For some reason, the American contingent, Kahanamoku, Ken Huszagh, and Perry McGillywray, who had all qualified for the semi-finals, did not appear, thinking that the afternoon race had qualified them for the final, to be held on 9 July. But this was not the case. The swimming officials made allowances, however, and decided to hold an extra heat among the Americans and Italy’s Mario Massa, who had missed the quarter-finals due to a “misunderstanding.” They ruled that the winner of the extra semi-final heat could advance to the final, if he posted a time faster than the 3rd-place swimmer in heat one. Kahanamoku proved his ability in this heat, and made certain that he would qualify by giving his best effort, which resulted in his equalling Bretting’s world record of 1:02.4. Huszagh was also advanced to the final, as his mark of 1:06.2 was equal to the 3rd-place time from heat one, which had been posted by Australia’s Bill Longworth.

In the final, Kahanamoku took the lead early, and Bretting never challenged. Noting at the halfway mark that he had comfortable lead, Kahanamoku eased up and still won by almost two metres, although with a slower time than he had posted in the semi-finals.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Duke Kahanamoku 21 United States USA Gold
2 Cecil Healy 30 Australasia ANZ Silver
3 Ken Huszagh 20 United States USA Bronze
4 Kurt Bretting 19 Germany GER
5 Walter Ramme 17 Germany GER
3 h1 r3/4 Bill Longworth 19 Australasia ANZ
3 h3 r3/4 Perry McGillivray 18 United States USA
AC h3 r3/4 Mario Massa 19 Italy ITA DNF
3 h1 r2/4 Harold Hardwick 23 Australasia ANZ
3T h2 r2/4 Max Ritter 25 Germany GER
3T h2 r2/4 Nick Nerich 18 United States USA
4 h1 r2/4 Robert Andersson 25 Sweden SWE
4 h3 r2/4 Les Boardman 22 Australasia ANZ
5 h3 r2/4 Paul Radmilovic 26 Great Britain GBR
1 h1 r1/4 László Beleznai 19 Hungary HUN
1 h8 r1/4 Erik Bergqvist 20 Sweden SWE
2T h7 r1/4 Harald Julin 22 Sweden SWE
2 h8 r1/4 Georges Rigal 22 France FRA
3 h1 r1/4 Andreas Asimakopoulos 23 Greece GRE
3 h2 r1/4 Theo Tartakover Australasia ANZ
3 h3 r1/4 Rob Derbyshire 33 Great Britain GBR
3 h5 r1/4 Harry Hebner 20 United States USA
3 h6 r1/4 Herman Meyboom 22 Belgium BEL
3 h8 r1/4 László Szentgróthy 20 Hungary HUN
4 h1 r1/4 Herbert von Kuhlberg 18 Russia RUS
4 h2 r1/4 Jules Wuyts 26 Belgium BEL
4 h4 r1/4 Erik Andersson 16 Sweden SWE
4 h5 r1/4 Gérard Meister 22 France FRA
4 h6 r1/4 James Reilly 22 United States USA
4 h7 r1/4 John Johnsen 20 Norway NOR
5 h4 r1/4 Georg Kunisch 19 Germany GER
AC h3 r1/4 Walther Binner 21 Germany GER
AC h3 r1/4 Alajos Kenyery 19 Hungary HUN
AC h3 r1/4 Davide Baiardo 24 Italy ITA