| Event type

Water Polo, Men

Date22 – 29 August 1920
LocationZwemstadion van Antwerpen, Antwerpen
Participants101 from 12 countries
FormatSingle-elimination tournament. Modified Bergvall system for second-to-fifth place.

In water polo, Belgium narrowly defeated The Netherlands and Sweden in getting to the final, while Great Britain made their way laughingly to the finals. Still, the nationalistic Belgian fans expected a hometown victory. The match was closely contested, with Britain eventually winning 3-2. Britain scored first, with Billy Dean recording the opening goal. But Belgium then took a 2-1 lead on two goals by Maurice Blitz. Britain tied the score at the half with another goal by Dean. In the second half, Paul Radmilovic of Britain scored the only goal, which proved to be the winning margin. The Belgian fans were quite unhappy and attempted to attack the British players, who were led away under an armed guard.

This made the third consecutive gold medal for Great Britain in water polo, having also won the title in 1908 and 1912. They had also won the Olympic championship in 1900 at Paris. Two British players earned three gold medals from 1908-1920 - Charles Smith and Paul Radmilovic, while a third, Charles Bugbee, had played for Great Britain in both 1912 and 1920. Smith represented Salford Swim Club in 1908, but Southport Swim Club in 1912 and 1920. He was England’s goalkeeper in water polo for 25 years and also competed at the 1924 Olympics, in which Great Britain lost in the first round to Hungary. Bugbee was a City of London policeman who also competed in 1924.

In addition to his three water polo gold medals, Paul Radmilovic also swam on the British 4×200 freestyle relay team that won gold in 1908. Radmilovic competed in Olympic water polo again in 1924 and 1928. An excellent swimmer, he won his first national swimming title in 1901 and the last in 1929 and he won championships at distances from 100 yards to 5 miles. In 1967 he was the first Briton to be inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

Per the 1920 Official Report there was a tournament for second-to-fifth place. The exact details of this tournament are murky. The _1920 Official Report does list the placements down to fifth place but it is difficult to tell placements beyond fifth place.

1Great BritainGBRGold
Charles Bugbee
Billy Dean 1
Chris Jones 2
Bill Peacock 3
Noel Purcell
Paul Radmilovic 4
Charles Smith
CoachPaul Radmilovic
René Bauwens 5
Gérard Blitz 6
Maurice Blitz 7
Pierre Dewin 8
Albert Durant
Paul Gailly
Pierre Nijs 9
Joseph Pletincx 10
Erik Andersson 11
Robert Andersson 12
Wille Andersson 13
Nils Backlund
Erik Bergqvist 14
Max Gumpel
Pontus Hanson 15
Harald Julin
Torsten Kumfeldt
Theodor Nauman
4United StatesUSA
Clement Browne
James Carson 16
Harry Hebner 17
Sophus Jensen
Duke Kahanamoku
Mike McDermott
Perry McGillivray
Norman Ross
Preston Steiger
Herbert Taylor
Herb Vollmer
William Vosburgh
CoachOtto Wahle
Gé Bohlander 18
George Cortlever 19
Leen Hoogendijk
Karel Kratz 20
Karel Meijer 21
Piet Plantinga 22
Karel Struijs
Piet van der Velden 23
Jean van Silfhout 24
Andreas Asimakopoulos
Nikolaos Baltatzis-Mavrokordatos
Savvas Mavridis
Konstantinos Nikolopoulos
Georgios Pilavachis
Pantelis Psychas
Aristidis Rousias
Mikes Tsamis
Dionysios Vasilopoulos
Orlando Amêndola
Ângelo Gammaro
João Jório
Alcides Paiva
Abrahão Saliture
Edgard Leite
Manuel Armangué
Ramón Berdomás
José Fontanet
Francisco Gibert
Luis Gibert
Enrique Granados
Alfonso Tusell
Antonio Vila-Coro
CoachAlbert Berglund
Émile-Georges Drigny
Henri Duvanel
Marcel Hussaud
Albert Mayaud
Henri Padou, Sr.
Jean Thorailler
Paul Vasseur
Charles Biefer
Armand Boppart
Henri Demiéville
Charles Horn
Jean Jenny
Albert Mondet
René Doria
František Černík
Emil Girl
František Franěk
Jan Hora
Václav Lancinger
Antonín Novotný
Hugo Sedláček
Eduard Stibor
Amilcare Beretta
Ercole Boero
Mario Boero
Luigi Burlando
Salvatore Cabella
Umberto Lungavia
Achille Olivari
Angelo Vassallo
CoachMario Boero

Round One

Date22 – 23 August 1920
Match #122 Aug 11:00SpainESP1 – 1ItalyITA
Match #222 Aug 19:30SwedenSWE11 – 0CzechoslovakiaTCH
Match #323 Aug 11:00BrazilBRA5 – 1FranceFRA
Match #423 Aug 17:00BelgiumBEL11 – 0SwitzerlandSUI
Match #523 AugNetherlandsNEDwalkover


Date24 August 1920
Match #124 Aug 10:00United StatesUSA7 – 0GreeceGRE
Match #224 AugGreat BritainGBR9 – 0SpainESP
Match #324 AugSwedenSWE7 – 3BrazilBRA
Match #424 AugBelgiumBEL2 – 1NetherlandsNED


Date26 August 1920
Match #126 Aug 17:00Great BritainGBR7 – 2United StatesUSA
Match #226 AugBelgiumBEL5 – 3SwedenSWE

Final Round

Date27 August 1920
FormatMedal round.
Match 1/227 Aug 17:00Great BritainGBR3 – 2BelgiumBEL

Second-to-Fifth Place Tournament

Date25 – 29 August 1920
Match #125 Aug 11:00GreeceGRE5 – 1ItalyITA
Match #225 Aug 17:00NetherlandsNED10 – 0CzechoslovakiaTCH
Match #3United StatesUSAwalkover
Match #428 AugSwedenSWE9 – 1NetherlandsNED
Match #528 Aug 10:30United StatesUSAwalkover
Match #628 Aug 18:00BelgiumBEL7 – 2United StatesUSA
Match #729 AugSwedenSWEwalkover