Not held in other editions
| Event type

50 yards Freestyle, Men

Date 6 September 1904
LocationLife Saving Exhibition Lake, Forest Park, St. Louis
Participants6 from 2 countries

The 50-yard freestyle was won by Zoltán von Halmay of Hungary after a swim off with America’s Scott Leary. It was a very controversial race. There were two heats contested, one by von Halmay and Leary. Six athletes, five Americans and von Halmay, competed in the finals on 6 September. The St. Louis Globe Democrat reported the results of that final as follows, “Scarcely had the men finished than Leary threw up his arms in the air and yelled to the officials on the float and in the stands ‘Foul.’ As soon as he could swim to the float, he did so and claimed that Halmay interfered with him near the finish and tried to pull him back. While it was acknowledged that Halmay’s course was the strongest in the world, all thoughts of his attempting to deliberately foul Leary were cast to the winds and the foul was disallowed. Up in the stands, however, the judges weren’t able to decide who won the event. One of the judges, a Hungarian, began to call Halmay the winner before he was within three yards of the finish and finally selected his countryman as the winner. On the other hand the judges trying to pick the second man selected Halmay for that place and finally when the judges could not pick a winner the heat was ordered to be run over.”

1Zoltán HalmayHUN29.6 (1 h1)28.2 (=1)28.0 (1)Gold
2Scott LearyUSA28.2 (1 h2)28.2 (=1)28.6 (2)Silver
3Charlie DanielsUSA– (2 h2)– (3)Bronze
4David GaulUSA– (3 h2)– (4)
5Budd GoodwinUSA– (2 h1)– (5)
6Ray ThorneUSA– (3 h1)– (6)
DNSWalter BrackGER
DNSGeorg HoffmannGER
DNSDavid HammondUSA
DNSLou HandleyUSA
DNSBill OrthweinUSA
DNSGeorge Van CleafUSA
DNSBill TuttleUSA
DNSGwynne EvansUSA
DNSDavid BrattonUSA
DNSDavid HesserUSA
DNSOscar St. CyrUSA
DNSH. B. WarrenUSA

Semi-Finals (6 September 1904)

Top three in each heat advanced to the final.

Heat One

1Zoltán HalmayHUN29.6QOR
2Budd GoodwinUSAQ
3Ray ThorneUSAQ

Heat Two

1Scott LearyUSA28.2QOR
2Charlie DanielsUSAQ
3David GaulUSAQ

Final (6 September 1904)

=1Zoltán HalmayHUN28.2=OR
=1Scott LearyUSA28.2
3Charlie DanielsUSA
4David GaulUSA
5Budd GoodwinUSA
6Ray ThorneUSA

Final, Swim-Off (6 September 1904)

1Zoltán HalmayHUN28.0OR
2Scott LearyUSA28.6