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Swimming at the 1928 Amsterdam Summer Games:

Men's 100 metres Freestyle

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Host City: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Venue(s): Swimming Stadium, Amsterdam
Date Started: August 10, 1928
Date Finished: August 11, 1928

Gold: USA Johnny Weissmuller
Silver: HUN István Bárány
Bronze: JPN Katsuo Takaishi


With an unbeaten record that stretched back seven years and arriving in Amsterdam as both defending champion and world record holder record, [Johnny Weissmuller] was a clear favourite for the sprinter’s crown at the 1928 Games. He cruised through the heat and semi-final, each time marking his nearest rival until a finishing kick asserted his dominance to both crowd and opponents. Weissmuller lost time to a poor start and although he trailed the surprise of the event, [István Bárány] of Hungary, early in the race, the American moved ahead only for the Hungarian to surge again and close the gap on the leader. Weissmuller’s superior turning technique gained him time on his rival and he moved away to victory. It should be mentioned that a conflicting report on the race states that Weissmuller actually lost time coming out of the turn as he swallowed a large gulp of water and became briefly disorientated before regaining his composure. He trained for the Los Angeles Games of 1932 but he was enticed by Hollywood and went to play the part of “Tarzan” in motion pictures for the next fifteen years. Although his acting abilities were somewhat limited, he remains to this day an iconic figure in movie history. This was Weissmuller fifth and final Olympic gold, a tally neatly equalled by the number of his marriages. [Walter Spence] of Canada, who finished sixth, learned to swim in the rivers of Guyana and bore the scars left by numerous piranha bites.

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