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Water Polo at the 1900 Paris Summer Games:

Men's Water Polo

Water Polo at the 1900 Summer Games: Next Summer Games


Host City: Paris, France
Venue(s): Seine, Courbevoie Bridge – Asnières Bridge, Paris
Date Started: August 11, 1900
Date Finished: August 12, 1900
Format: Single-elimination tournament.

Gold: MIX Mixed team
Silver: BEL Belgium
Bronze: FRA France-1
MIX Mixed team-1


Four nations and seven teams competed, with one team, the “B” team from the Osborne Swimming Club of Manchester, England, not starting. Very little has been written about this tournament. In fact, prior to research by one of the MADmen (Mallon), team rosters had never been given for the three teams that lost in the first round. They were all given in Journal des Sports. One of the rosters, that of the German team, differs from the normaly seen team roster given in one well-known Germany source. There is also some controversy about the team composition for the champion Osborne Swimming Club of Manchester (see below); the Brussels Swimming and Water Polo Club of Belgium; and the Pupilles de Neptune de Lille team, which lost in the semis to Osborne.

The Osborne Swimming Club was the class of the tournament. They won their three matches by 12-0, 10-1, and 7-2. However, 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.

Traditionally, the British team is listed as composed of Thomas Coe, John Derbyshire, Peter Kemp, William Lister, Arthur Robertson, Eric Robinson and George Wilkinson. However, only one contemporary source listing a roster is known, which gives the seven names listed below (Henry, Crawshaw, Jarvis, Stapleton, Lindberg, Coe and Kemp). Of the "traditional" roster, Lister certainly did not compete: he died of typhoid fever in the Boer War two weeks before the Games. Wilkinson played in a match in Walsall during the Olympic tournament, and Robinson and Derbyshire played in Manchester two days after the final match. This leaves only Robertson, but there is no evidence he was even selected for the Olympic team.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinal RoundSemi-FinalsRound OneSummary

Final Standings

Rank Team NOC Medal
1 Osborne Swimming Club, Manchester MIX Gold
2 Brussels Swimming and Water Polo Club BEL Silver
3T Libellule de Paris-1 MIX Bronze
3T Pupilles de Neptune de Lille #2-1 FRA Bronze
5T Germany GER
5T Tritons Lillois-2 FRA
5T Pupilles de Neptune de Lille #1-3 MIX