| Event type

100 metres Freestyle, Men

Date6 – 10 July 1912
LocationSimstadion, Djurgårdsbrunnsviken, Stockholm
Participants34 from 12 countries
Olympic Record 1:05.6 WR / Charlie Daniels USA / 20 July 1908

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 McGillivray, 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. Cecil Healy argued on behalf of the Americans and assisted in their successful appeal to be able to swim an extra qualification race. 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 a comfortable lead, Kahanamoku eased up and still defeated Healy by almost two metres, although with a slower time than he had posted in the semi-finals.

1Duke KahanamokuUSA1:02.6 (1 h5)1:03.8 (1 h2)1:02.4 (1 h3)1:03.4 (1)Gold
2Cecil HealyANZ1:05.2 (2 h4)1:04.8 (3 h3)1:05.6 (1 h1)1:04.6 (2)Silver
3Ken HuszaghUSA1:06.2 (3 h4)1:04.2 (1 h3)1:06.2 (2 h3)1:05.6 (3)Bronze
4Kurt BrettingGER1:07.0 (1 h2)1:04.2 (1 h1)1:04.6 (1 h2)1:05.8 (4)
5Walter RammeGER1:10.2 (1 h7)1:07.8 (2 h2)1:05.8 (2 h1)1:06.4 (5)
3 h1 r3/4Bill LongworthANZ1:05.2 (2 h5)1:05.2 (2 h1)1:06.2 (3 h1)– (DNS)
3 h3 r3/4Perry McGillivrayUSA1:04.8 (1 h4)1:04.4 (2 h3)1:06.2 (3 h3)
AC h3 r3/4Mario MassaITA1:11.8 (=2 h7)– (DNS h3)– (AC h3)DNF
3 h1 r2/4Harold HardwickANZ1:05.8 (1 h6)1:06.0 (3 h1)
=3 h2 r2/4Max RitterGER1:08.0 (2 h6)1:08.8 (=3 h2)
=3 h2 r2/4Nick NerichUSA1:07.6 (2 h3)1:08.8 (=3 h2)
4 h1 r2/4Robert AnderssonSWE1:09.4 (2 h1)1:09.5 (4 h1)
4 h3 r2/4Les BoardmanANZ1:06.0 (1 h3)1:05.4 (4 h3)
5 h3 r2/4Paul RadmilovicGBR1:10.4 (2 h2)1:19.0 (5 h3)
1 h1 r1/4László BeleznaiHUN1:08.0 (1 h1)– (DNS h1)
1 h8 r1/4Erik BergqvistSWE1:13.4 (1 h8)– (DNS h2)
2 h7 r1/4Harald JulinSWE1:11.8 (=2 h7)– (DNS h2)
2 h8 r1/4Georges RigalFRA1:17.8 (2 h8)– (DNS h1)
3 h1 r1/4Andreas AsimakopoulosGRE1:15.4 (3 h1)
3 h2 r1/4Theo TartakoverANZ1:12.2 (3 h2)
3 h3 r1/4Rob DerbyshireGBR1:09.2 (3 h3)
3 h5 r1/4Harry HebnerUSA1:10.4 (3 h5)
3 h6 r1/4Herman MeyboomBEL1:15.4 (3 h6)
3 h8 r1/4László SzentgróthyHUN– (3 h8)
4 h1 r1/4Herbert von KuhlbergRUS– (4 h1)
4 h2 r1/4Jules WuytsBEL1:13.6 (4 h2)
4 h4 r1/4Erik AnderssonSWE– (4 h4)
4 h5 r1/4Gérard MeisterFRA1:16.6 (4 h5)
4 h6 r1/4Jim ReillyUSA– (4 h6)
4 h7 r1/4John JohnsenNOR1:19.1 (4 h7)
5 h4 r1/4Georg KunischGER– (5 h4)
AC h3 r1/4Walther BinnerGER– (AC h3)
AC h3 r1/4Alajos KenyéryHUN– (AC h3)
AC h3 r1/4Davide BaiardoITA– (AC h3)
DNSOtto ScheffAUT– (DNS h6)
DNSEmanuel PrüllAUT1
DNSHeinrich BrandstetterAUT– (DNS h4)
DNSMax RosenfeldAUT2
DNSJosef ScheiblerAUT– (DNS h3)
DNSGeorge HodgsonCAN– (DNS h1)
DNSHenri DecoinFRA– (DNS h2)
DNSHenri DuboisFRA– (DNS h3)
DNSJacques MartinFRA– (DNS h1)
DNSJean MartinFRA– (DNS h6)
DNSMarcel PernotFRA3
DNSJean RoldesFRA– (DNS h4)
DNSOtto KühneGER– (DNS h4)
DNSBéla Las-TorresHUN4
DNSJózsef MunkHUN– (DNS h3)
DNSJenő RimanóczyHUN– (DNS h5)
DNSVirgilio BellazzaITA– (DNS h5)
DNSAttilio BellezzaITA– (DNS h2)
DNSAldo CigheriITA– (DNS h7)
DNSMario PortolongoITA5
DNSGeorge GodfreyRSA– (DNS h2)
DNSAleksey AndreyevRUS– (DNS h8)
DNSBengt WallinSWE6
DNSBudd GoodwinUSA7
DNSMike McDermottUSA– (DNS h7)
DNSLeslie RichUSA8
DNSEben CrossUSA– (DNS h2)
DNSRichard FrizellUSA– (DNS h3)

Round One9 (7 July 1912 — 13:30)

Top two in each heat and the fastest third-place advanced to the quarter-finals.

Heat One

1László BeleznaiHUN1:08.0Q
2Robert AnderssonSWE1:09.4Q
3Andreas AsimakopoulosGRE1:15.4
4Herbert von KuhlbergRUS
DNSGeorge HodgsonCAN
DNSJacques MartinFRA

Heat Two

1Kurt BrettingGER1:07.0Q
2Paul RadmilovicGBR1:10.4Q
3Theo TartakoverANZ1:12.2
4Jules WuytsBEL1:13.6
DNSHenri DecoinFRA
DNSAttilio BellezzaITA
DNSGeorge GodfreyRSA
DNSEben CrossUSA

Heat Three

1Les BoardmanANZ1:06.0Q
2Nick NerichUSA1:07.6Q
3Rob DerbyshireGBR1:09.2
ACDavide BaiardoITA
ACWalther BinnerGER
ACAlajos KenyéryHUN
DNSJosef ScheiblerAUT
DNSHenri DuboisFRA
DNSJózsef MunkHUN
DNSRichard FrizellUSA

Heat Four

1Perry McGillivrayUSA1:04.8QOR
2Cecil HealyANZ1:05.2Q
3Ken HuszaghUSA1:06.2Q
4Erik AnderssonSWE
5Georg KunischGER
DNSHeinrich BrandstetterAUT
DNSJean RoldesFRA
DNSOtto KühneGER

Heat Five

1Duke KahanamokuUSA1:02.6QWR
2Bill LongworthANZ1:05.2Q
3Harry HebnerUSA1:10.4
4Gérard MeisterFRA1:16.6
DNSJenő RimanóczyHUN
DNSVirgilio BellazzaITA

Heat Six

1Harold HardwickANZ1:05.8Q
2Max RitterGER1:08.0Q
3Herman MeyboomBEL1:15.4
4Jim ReillyUSA
DNSOtto ScheffAUT
DNSJean MartinFRA

Heat Seven

1Walter RammeGER1:10.2Q
=2Mario MassaITA1:11.8Q
=2Harald JulinSWE1:11.8Q
4John JohnsenNOR1:19.1
DNSAldo CigheriITA
DNSMike McDermottUSA

Heat Eight

1Erik BergqvistSWE1:13.4Q
2Georges RigalFRA1:17.8Q
3László SzentgróthyHUN
DNSAleksey AndreyevRUS

Quarter-Finals (7 July 1912 — 13:30)

Top two in each heat and the fastest third-place advanced to the semi-finals.

Heat One

1Kurt BrettingGER1:04.2Q
2Bill LongworthANZ1:05.2Q
3Harold HardwickANZ1:06.0
4Robert AnderssonSWE1:09.5
DNSGeorges RigalFRA
DNSLászló BeleznaiHUN

Heat Two

1Duke KahanamokuUSA1:03.8Q
2Walter RammeGER1:07.8Q
=3Max RitterGER1:08.8
=3Nick NerichUSA1:08.8
DNSHarald JulinSWE
DNSErik BergqvistSWE

Heat Three

1Ken HuszaghUSA1:04.2Q
2Perry McGillivrayUSA1:04.4Q
3Cecil HealyANZ1:04.8q
4Les BoardmanANZ1:05.4
5Paul RadmilovicGBR1:19.0
DNSMario MassaITA10

Semi-Finals (7 – 9 July 1912)

Top two in each heat and the fastest third-place advanced to the final.

Heat One (7 July 1912 — 20:00)

1Cecil HealyANZ1:05.6Q
2Walter RammeGER1:05.8Q
3Bill LongworthANZ1:06.2q

Heat Two (7 July 1912 — 20:10)

1Kurt BrettingGER1:04.6q

Heat Three

1Duke KahanamokuUSA1:02.4Q=WR
2Ken HuszaghUSA1:06.2Q
3Perry McGillivrayUSA1:06.2

Final (10 July 1912)

1Duke KahanamokuUSA1:03.4
2Cecil HealyANZ1:04.6
3Ken HuszaghUSA1:05.6
4Kurt BrettingGER1:05.8
5Walter RammeGER1:06.4
DNSBill LongworthANZ11